The man arrested as a suspect in the slaying of rapper Nipsey Hussle is in custody Wednesday in lieu of $7 million bail amid reports that he has a violent criminal history.
Eric Holder, 29, was arrested around 1 p.m. Tuesday in the 9000 block of Artesia Boulevard in Bellflower by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies after a witness called authorities to report seeing a person believed to be Holder.
Sheriff’s deputies detained him outside a mental health facility, and Los Angeles police officers went to the sheriff’s Lakewood station and confirmed the man was indeed Holder.
A witness told the website “The Blast” that Holder had called a mental health facility and claimed he needed “help.”
“Thank you to both our community for the heightened awareness/vigilance, and our partners at (the sheriff’s department),” the LAPD stated in a Twitter post.
Holder is suspected of gunning down the 33-year-old rapper around 3:20 p.m. Sunday in front of The Marathon Clothing store the singer owned in the 3400 block of West Slauson Avenue in the Hyde Park area. A court appearance for Holder has not yet been scheduled.
Los Angeles police Chief Michel Moore said Holder got into some type of personal dispute with the rapper outside the store, then left and returned with a handgun.
Hussle was shot in the head and body and died at a hospital, according to police and the coroner’s office. Two other men were also injured in the shooting, although one declined to be taken to a hospital.
Moore declined to discuss the nature of the disagreement between Holder and Hussle but stressed the shooting appeared to be a result of that dispute, not any type of gang rivalry or feud.
“We believe this to be a dispute between Mr. Hussle and Mr. Holder,” Moore said. “I’m not going to go into the conversations, but it appears to be a personal matter between the two of them.”
Holder has a criminal record that includes a 2009 arrest and charge of domestic battery against the mother of his child, The Blast reported. He pleaded down the battery charge by agreeing to complete an anger management treatment program and stay 100 yards away from the woman.
He was also arrested in 2012 and charged with carrying a loaded gun. He made a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to six months in Los Angeles County jail. According to court records, Holder was ordered not to “own, use or possess any dangerous or deadly weapons, including firearms, knives or other concealable weapons,” The Blast reported.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the woman who was allegedly driving the car Holder left the scene in after the shooting surrendered to police, but the LAPD did not immediately confirm the report.
Hussle became the latest in a number of rap artists to be murdered, including 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G.
2Pac, whose real name was Tupac Shakur, was shot four times on Sept. 7, 1996, in Las Vegas after attending a boxing match at the MGM Grand.
The rapper had attacked an alleged gang member from Compton in the lobby of the hotel that night before leaving with Suge Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records. The pair was driving to Knight’s club when about 11:15 p.m. a white, four-door, late-model Cadillac pulled up alongside the passenger side of the Knight’s BMW 750iL and opened fire, hitting Shakur twice in the chest, once in the arm and once in the thigh.
Shakur was taken to a hospital and placed on life-support machines, but died from his injuries just after 4 p.m on Sept. 13, 1996.
The Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was shot several times after leaving a party at the Peterson Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard about 12:45 a.m. March 9, 1997. He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m.
Both slayings remain unsolved.
Hussle transformed himself from a South Los Angeles gang member to a rap musician and channeled his success into efforts to help others stay out of gangs. He bought shoes for students, re-paved basketball courts and provided jobs and shelter for the homeless.
Hussle helped renovate a Mid-City roller rink and redeveloped the strip mall that housed his Marathon Clothing shop where he was fatally wounded.