A suspect was named Monday evening in connection with the fatal shooting of rapper Nipsey Hussle.
The suspect was identified as Eric Holder, 29, of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Holder was last seen Sunday fleeing the shooting scene in a white, four-door 2016 Chevrolet Cruze with California license plate 7RJD742 driven by an unidentified female, police said.
Holder allegedly walked up to three men, including Hussle, who were standing in front of The Marathon Clothing store in the 3400 block of West Slauson Avenue, near Crenshaw Boulevard in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles, around 3:20 p.m. Sunday and fired numerous shots at them, striking the victims who fell to the ground, the LAPD said.
Holder then ran southbound through a nearby alley to the waiting Cruze, police said.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Holder was asked to call LAPD’s South Bureau Homicide detectives at (323) 786-5100 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
Two victims were taken to a hospital and one declined treatment at the scene. Hussle, 33, was pronounced dead at a hospital, authorities said.
Hussle had been scheduled to meet Monday with LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Police Commission member Steve Soboroff — a meeting Hussle had requested.
“We were meeting at the request of (Hussle) with him and (Jay-Z’s production company Roc Nation) … to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids,” Soboroff wrote on his Twitter page Sunday night. “I’m so very sad.”
Soboroff also wrote: “RIP sir. Many of us will join together to stop whatever caused your and so many other tragic unnecessary killings.”
KNX-AM (1070) reported the gathering was being rescheduled so Hussle’s relatives can attend.
Soboroff and Moore, along with other LAPD leaders and detectives from the gang and robbery-homicide divisions are expected to hold a news conference at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday to give an update on the investigation and address “the surge in violence in the city of Los Angeles,” according to the LAPD.
Surveillance video from a business across the street obtained by TMZ shows what appears to be a suspect walking to the clothing store, where multiple people were standing outside. The shooting occurs quickly afterward, although it cannot be clearly seen on the video. But one person can be seen falling to the ground, and at least three people are seen running from the parking lot.
The Grammy-nominated Hussle’s birth name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom and was a father of two. The coroner’s office reported that he died of gunshot wounds to his head and body, and his death was officially deemed a homicide.
Moore, speaking to reporters Monday at the crime scene, said he believes the gunman and Hussle were acquainted, meaning the shooting was likely the result of a personal dispute.
“This was not a chance encounter. We don’t think this was a sudden engagement,” Moore said.
A coalition of civil rights activists held a news conference near the crime scene Monday morning to call on the shooter to surrender to authorities. They also called for an immediate end to black-on-black violence, Project Islamic Hope CEO Najee Ali said.
Hundreds of people gathered throughout the day at the shooting scene to pay their respects to Hussle, calling him a champion of the community, playing his music and leaving candles and flowers.
Hussle was from the Crenshaw neighborhood and worked on music with members of both the Crips and Blood gangs, TMZ reported.
Before he was shot, Hussle tweeted: “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”
After news broke that Hussle died, a stream of condolences flooded the internet.
Basketball Hall of Fame member Earvin “Magic” Johnson tweeted, “I was so proud of Nipsey Hussle who became an astute businessman and created jobs for people who lived in South Central. He showed young people that you can change your life and do good in the community you grew up in.”
Los Angeles Lakers all-star forward LeBron James tweeted, “So, so SAD man!! DAMN man this hurt.”
The rapper Drake posted on Instagram, “My whole energy is just at a low right now hearing this. We just linked for the first time in years and said we were gonna do a new song this summer cause it had been too long. I’m only doing this here cause I want the world to know I saw you as a man of respect and a don. Rest easy …”
Singer Rihanna tweeted, “This doesn’t make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this! Dear God may his spirit rest in peace and may you grant divine comfort to all his loved ones! I’m so sorry this happened to you.
Singer/musician Pharrell Williams tweeted, “You were about something positive and for your community in every chance you had to speak … and because of that you inspired millions … millions who will uphold your legacy forever, Rest amongst the stars.”
Rapper Megatron told reporters at the scene, “Every time I met him (Nipsey) it was love. He was all about helping people.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted, “Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy. L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence. My Crisis Response Team is assisting the families coping with shock and grief.”
As homicide detectives investigated the shooting, Moore noted it “represents the latest loss in a troubling surge in violence. Since last Sunday 26 victims have been shot and 10 homicides.” He promised to “work aggressively with our community to quell this senseless loss of life.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represents South Los Angeles, released a statement calling for restraint in the aftermath of Hussle’s killing.
“I urge calm and a period of reflection,” Ridley-Thomas said. “Violent retaliation for this event will not be tolerated. 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.”
Hussle transformed himself from a Rollin’ 60s Crip to a rap musician and channeled his success into efforts to help other stay out of gangs, according to the Los Angeles Times. He bought shoes for students, re-paved basketball courts and provided jobs and shelter for the homeless, the newspaper reported.
Hussle helped renovate a Mid-City roller rink and redeveloped the strip mall that housed his Marathon Clothing shop where he was fatally wounded.