Police identify suspect in Nipsey Hussle killing as 29-year-old L.A. man
Nipsey Hussle gunned down in a South L.A. he helped build up.
Los Angeles police have identified a suspect in the killing of rapper Nipsey Hussle as Eric Holder, 29, of Los Angeles, and said they are searching for him.
Law enforcement sources said Holder got into a dispute with the rapper before the shooting.
Holder was last seen in a white, four-door 2016 Chevy Cruze, with the license plate number 7RJD742.
The sources said earlier Monday that detectives believed the killer was someone in the rap star’s orbit. Detectives believe the gunman has gang ties but that the motive is likely personal in nature rather than a larger gang feud. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the case publicly.
Just before the shooting, Hussle tweeted: “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Monday that he died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Meanwhile, a vigil on Monday night for the rapper outside the store where he was shot turned violent, with several people injured.
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Hussle was shot multiple times around 3:20 p.m. by a young man who opened fire at close range before bolting to a getaway car, police said.
Paramedics took Hussle to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The shooting came a day before Hussle was scheduled to meet with LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff “to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids,” Soboroff said.
Kiara Career, left, and Tadow McReynolds, from Minneapolis, take a selfie at the Nipsey Hussle memorial outside his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles.(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
The growing memorial for Nipsey Hussle outside his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles.(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Herman Douglas, a.k.a. Cowboy, a business partner of Nipsey Hussle, stands behind police tape marking the crime scene as he pays his respect at a makeshift memorial for Hussle on April 2.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
LAPD officer Jonathan Moreno, left, receives a bouquet from Rochelle Trent, 64, to be placed at a makeshift memorial for Nipsey Hussle on April 2.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Nene Vauters, 28, stands behind police crime-scene tape to pay her respects at a makeshift memorial for Nipsey Hussle on April 2.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
L.A. police push back a crowd along Crenshaw Boulevard after a stamped erupted, injuring several people, during a vigil Monday for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Law enforcement officials begin to form lines down Slauson Avenue after a stampede at the memorial for rapper Nipsey Hussle.(Genaro Molina/ Los Angeles Times)
L.A. push the crowd down Slauson Avenue after a reported stabbing incident at the memorial for rapper Nipsey Hussle.(Genaro Molina/ Los Angeles Times)
Fans of rapper Nipsey Hussle pay tribue to the slain star in the parking lot of his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles on Monday.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
An image of Nipsey Hussle rests in a sea of candles as fans of the rapper pay their respects near the Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles on Monday.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Fans of rapper Nipsey Hussle pay their respects at a makeshift memorial in the parking lot of the Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles on Monday.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Jesse Junco, 28, from San Bernardino lights candles Monday morning at one of a few growing memorials in front of the Marathon Clothing store.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
LaShanna Ayers, right, whose grandson is a godson to Nipsey Hussle, is comforted in the parking lot where rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Marquesa Lawson, 34, right, mourns the shooting death of rapper Nipsey Hussle in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
A crowd of people gathers at the scene where rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed Sunday.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Police investigate the scene where rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed in a shooting outside his store that left two others wounded.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Hugo Rojas, 17, holds a candle in memory of rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot multiple times Sunday in South L.A.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Utopia Kates, 27, in green jacket, comforts a friend over the shooting death of rapper Nipsey Hussle outside his clothing store in South Los Angeles.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Takiya Taylor, 25, mourns the death of rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was killed in a shooting that wounded two other people outside Hussle’s clothing store in South Los Angeles.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times )
“I’m telling you, that was my friend. My friend’s dead. He was my childhood friend,” said Marquesha Lawson, 34, at the scene of rapper Nipsey Hussle’s killing in South L.A. on Sunday.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times )
Police cordoned off the scene where rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed in a shooting outside his Marathon Clothing store.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
A crowd of people looks over the scene near Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard where rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
People mourn the shooting death of rapper Nipsey Hussle in the Hyde Park neighborhood where Hussle was known as a community leader.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Rapper Nipsey Hussle performs in February 2018 at the Hollywood Palladium.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Nipsey Hussle performs during the Rolling Loud festival at Exposition Park on Dec. 14, 2018.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Nipsey Hussle performs at the Hollywood Palladium. He was nominated for a Grammy for his album “Victory Lap.”(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Nipsey Hussle, shown at the Hollywood Palladium, was known as much for his work in the community as for his music.(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
At the Watts Civic Center on Monday morning, Moore urged residents to come forward, even anonymously, with information on violent crimes. “We will conduct lawful investigations and bring them to justice.”
Moore agreed with a resident who said social media was fueling violence. “We see social media as absolutely driving violence. I’ll just say it.”
Various social media platforms allow “an attitude of disrespect and it gets settled on the street,” Moore said. He urged the 70 residents attending the weekly gang task force meeting to demand that posts on social media be respectful.
After the meeting, Moore said Hussle “tragically lost his life” in a place where he was working to improve the community.
FULL COVERAGE: Nipsey Hussle gunned down in South L.A. »
“Throughout the years as he fostered success in his music career ... he chose, rather than to leave ... to come back and reinvest. And to reinvest and try to address the various underpinnings that fostered this environment,” Moore said, adding that the shooting was “just terrible.”
Hussle made no secret of his early life in a street gang, saying in a 2014 interview with YouTube channel Vlad TV that he had joined the Rollin’ 60s, a notorious Crips gang clique, as a teenager.
“We dealt with death, with murder,” he told The Times in 2018. “It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while.”
Community leaders and politicians have urged people with any information about the killing to come forward.
“Violent retaliation for this event will not be tolerated,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Our communities have lost too many young men and bright futures to the scourge of gun violence. For healing to occur, even from this terrible incident, justice must be sought through legal means, and community peace must be found.”
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