The killing of rapper Nipsey Hussle involved a personal dispute with the gunman and was not gang violence, Los Angeles police Chief Michel Moore said today. Hussle and the suspect, Eric Holder, 29, knew each other, but Moore did not reveal how they were acquainted or any details about what the dispute involved.
Hussle was fatally shot Sunday afternoon outside his South Los Angeles clothing store. Moore said Holder repeatedly approached Hussle and talked with him before returning with a gun and opening fire. Holder then fled in a waiting car driven by a woman, the chief said.
Moore told reporters at a news conference televised live that he was certain Holder was watching and urged him to surrender. Moore and the president of the city’s Police Commission had been scheduled to meet with Hussle on Monday to discuss the relationship between the police force and the inner city.
The chief said he was devastated when he learned that Hussle had been killed. Mayor Eric Garcetti said Hussle’s killing occurred during an upsurge of gun violence that followed significant decreases, and announced plans to deploy an array of resources to roll it back. Authorities urged that Hussle’s killing not be followed by more violence.
A disturbance at a memorial for Hussle Monday night left at least 19 people injured, including two people who were taken to local hospitals in critical condition. Dozens of police officers cleared the memorial site after a fight apparently broke out and a stampede ensued.
At least one of the critically-injured persons was struck by a car and the other one had a “penetrating injury,” although it was unclear whether that person was stabbed or cut by broken glass, a fire department spokeswoman said. Two other people suffered serious injuries and 15 had injuries that were considered non-life threatening.
An autopsy completed Monday showed that Hussle, 33, died after being shot in the head and torso. The rapper, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, had recently purchased the strip mall where the shop is located and planned to redevelop it into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex.
The plan was part of Hussle’s broader ambitions to remake the neighborhood where he grew up and attempt to break the cycle of gang life that lured him in when he was younger.