Powerlifter Otis Perkins, best known as Black Tom Cruise (BTC), has died at age 39.
Perkins was in a major car accident on July 11 and underwent surgery on his back and right eye as family and friends hoped for his recovery.
However, on July 24, Otis Perkins died due to complications from pneumonia stemming from the car accident.
According to a GoFundMe set up to support Perkins, a high fever and lung complications related to his pneumonia caused a fatal cardiac event.
“Friends, at 7:37 am this morning, Otis Perkins aka BTC passed away and went home to be with the Lord. He had sustained major injuries due to a car accident on 7/11 but due to a high fever and lung complications from pneumonia he couldn’t get enough oxygen to his lungs and his heart gave out. I’m here at the hospital making preparations and will update on services shortly.”
Otis was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was a college football player.
After getting injured, Otis joined the NYPD but developed a passion for powerlifting after meeting Larry Wheeler and Kevin Oak.
According to his official website, as a competitive powerlifter, he performed a 785-pound deadlift, 430-pound bench press, and 635-pound squat.
Otis Perkins was a famous powerlifter on social media with over 100,000 followers on Instagram, where he was better known as Black Tom Cruise. He also had a large following on YouTube and was known for his collaborative videos with Larry Wheeler.
Otis Perkins car reportedly flipped
According to BarBend, Perkins was reportedly in a convertible car that flipped while he was inside. However, there is little detail about the number of vehicles involved in the car accident or whether other people were harmed.
Tributes pour in for Black Tom Cruise
Powerlifter Larry Wheels led tributes to Otis Perkins on Instagram with the following:
“R.I.P Black Tom Cruise,” he wrote. “The man brought laughs everywhere he went. Funniest man I ever met. He possessed all the traits of a GREAT friend. I love him and hold him closer to almost anyone I know. It hurts to accept he’s gone.No matter what life threw at him he kept a smile and his head held high. Otis Perkins you will be missed.”
Powerlifters and bodybuilders such as Jay Cutler, Blessing Awodibu, Simeon Panda, Hafthor Björnsson, Zac Aynsley, and Flex Wheeler paid their respects to Perkins on Wheeler’s Instagram page.
Several fan tributes describe Perkins as an inspirational, funny, and talented powerlifter.
Perkins was known for his motivational catchphrases and as a positive role model in the powerlifting community.
Otis Perkins is survived by his fiancé and contributions to the powerlifting community.