Lindsey Reynolds | Reporter
Grammy nominated rapper Ermias Asghedom, better known as Nipsey Hussle, died Sunday at 3:20 p.m. outside his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles. Asghedom was killed by shots to his head and torso. Los Angeles Police Department is in search of Eric Holder, 29, who is suspected for homicide.
Surveillance footage shows brief exchange between Asghedom and the shooter which turned deadly when a gun was pulled on Asghedom, and he was shot multiple times. The shooter then ran into a nearby alley and was driven away in a white, four-door, Chevy Cruze driven by an unidentified female. Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore said he believes the shooter had an agenda, and that Asghedom had prior relationship with his killer.
“We believe they were known to each other,” Moore said with at a news conference Tuesday. “[Holder] engaged in a conversation with Nipsey and the others that were there.”
Later Sunday night around 8 p.m., a vigil for the rapper turned into mass chaos and panic for reasons still unknown to L.A.P.D. Police, who, equipped with riot gear and batons, arrived on scene to address the situation. One officer was reported to have been injured by attendees throwing rocks at the officers. Nineteen people were transported to the hospital for injuries due to being trampled. Two citizens were injured critically and one was hit by a car.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released a statement calling for the city to return to peace, and to honor, which were the wishes of the late rapper.
“The absolute worst way to pay back Nipsey’s loss is with more violence,” Garcetti said. “We know there is much more love than hate, love than violence, out there.”
According to reports, Asghedom had plans to meet with Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff in order to discuss the gang violence in the city. The meeting was planned for Monday, the day following his death.
Years ago, Asghedom was related to an L.A. gang called Rollin’ 60s. This gang had close affiliations with the widely known Crips gang. The timliness of Asghedom’s death and his scheduled meeting with Soboroff has garnered suspicion that the violence could be related to opposing gang initiatives oppose cooperation of former gang members with the police. Investigators are still searching for a motive.
Houston junior Imani Wiley believes the shooting was not random, but was a conspiracy-fueled hit mission.
“I don’t believe this is a coincidence. He was a person of integrity and of honesty,” Wiley said. “Listen to his music, listen to his interviews. I’m sure many are touched by what he was saying.”
Wiley explained how his music has touched her and her brother’s lives, and how important of a figure he was as an advocacy for peace, integrity and wisdom. She referred to the rapper as “the Tupac of our generation” in the ways that he was a mouth piece for the underrepresented, an advocate of the impoverished and an example of someone who can change. She also highlighted the similarities between Tupac’s death and Asghedom’s.
Asghedom was an advocate for peace, particularly in Los Angeles and in relation to the young, inner city population. Garcetti described the rapper as “an artist who touched our city and the lives far beyond the City of Angels” and noted his death “has sent shockwaves across this city, and across the globe.”