THE family of a comedian who died after reportedly taking fentanyl-laced cocaine that killed a fellow comic and another woman have paid tribute to the “incredibly loved” performer.
Enrico “Rico” Colangeli, 48, was found dead by police inside of an apartment in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice Beach early Saturday morning after suffering a suspected drug overdose.
Enrico ‘Rico’ Colangeli, left, was found dead on Saturday. Fellow comic Kate Quigley, right, was taken to hospital in a critical condition but is expected to survive[/caption]
Fuquan Johnson, 42, was also found dead inside the apartment[/caption]
The entertainer was found lifeless alongside fellow comic Fuquan Johnson, 42, and friend Natalie Williamson, 33.
A fourth person, actress and comedian Kate Quigley, 39, was found unresponsive but alive inside the apartment.
She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but is expected to survive.
In a text message to a friend on Saturday evening, she wrote: “I’m alive. I’m not great. But im. Ok.”
Investigators believe the four friends all consumed a batch of cocaine that had been laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin.
Autopsies will be conducted on each of the three dead to determine their cause of death.
‘HOLE IN OUR HEARTS’
Speaking to The Sun, Colangeli’s cousin Maria Spencer voiced heartbreak over the performer’s sudden, tragic death.
“Enrico (Ricky) was incredibly loved by his entire family, and we’ll miss him more than words can describe,” she said.
Spencer described her cousin as “not only a smart, talented comedian but was also a highly skilled carpenter who worked for his family’s construction company.”
She said her entire family has been left “deeply saddened” by his passing.
“Losing Ricky is a true heartbreak and is a devastating loss for his siblings, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins who have many fond memories of family Sunday dinners, amazing Christmas Eve meals, and other family celebrations that can only be remembered as epic,” she added.
“We loved Ricky dearly and his death is leaving a hole in our hearts that is somewhat comforted by knowing he is now at peace in the arms of his loving parents, Lynda and Rico, who we lost in 2019.”
Colangeli is seen in a recent photo with his beloved aunt Elaine[/caption]
Colangeli’s dad Rico, left, died in 2019. Colangeli is pictured next to him[/caption]
Colangeli regularly performed at the HaHa Comedy Club, as did Johnson[/caption]
Colangeli was first identified as one of the fatalities following an Instagram post by the HaHa Comedy Club on Sunday.
The Massachusetts native regularly performed at the club, as did Johnson.
“We lost two HaHa Family Members,” the club wrote alongside a photo of Johnson and Colangeli smiling together. “Make Everyone Laugh in Heaven.”
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Tributes from shocked fans and friends soon followed.
“I lost two important people in my life last night. They were my friends, my old roommates, my co-workers, my brothers,” Jack Assadourian Jr wrote on Instagram.
“Thank you both for always believing in me when nobody else would. You guys both always had my back, I miss you both so much. Rest In Paradise! I love you @mybadfuu @ricovonrico forever! You guys will never be forgotten!!”
In a second post, he wrote: “I know You guys made it past security and made it into Heaven with bottle service and all the girls!
“You guys were loved by so many! We saw each other more than our own family. We were family! I love you guys.”
Johnson was a mainstay on the LA comedy circuit and was also a writer for Comedy Parlor Live.
He’d been working in stand-up for more than a decade prior to his death.
Writer and producer Luke Barnett led tributes to the comic on Twitter Saturday night.
“Very sad to hear about the passing of my buddy Fuquan Johnson. Smiliest, happiest dude, and a local icon in the North Hollywood community, RIP,” he wrote.
The Massachusetts native was also a skilled carpenter, his family said[/caption]
Johnson, right, is seen with Rico, left[/caption]
Actor Page Kennedy also posted a lengthy statement on Instagram, along with a picture of Fuquan.
“Life is so short. It leaves quick as a fall. Without notice. Without time to say good bye or i love you. I implore you to tell the people you love that you love them. @mybadfuu i told you this already so i know you know. I love you brother and will miss you.
“Thank you for the laughs. Thank you for always being there when i call you and need you. Rest well my bro and leave those angels alone up there bro, or at least save some for me.”
The LAPD’s homicide department has been notified about the Johnson’s, William’s, and Colangeli’s deaths, though it’s unclear whether they’re involved with the investigation at this time.
It’s not known who brought the laced drugs to the party or in what capacity they were used or passed around.
Quigley reportedly lives next door to the apartment where the party was held, but the identity of the owner of the property in question also remains unclear.
No further information has yet been released.
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