LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles police say they have identified a man suspected of gunning down Nipsey Hussle outside his clothing store the rapper hoped would be a catalyst for reviving the impoverished Los Angeles community where he grew up.
Police said late Monday that they are searching for Eric Holder, 29, who they said in a news release is suspecting of fatally shooting Hussle and wounding two others Sunday afternoon. Police said they believe Holder fled the scene in a 2016 Chevy Cruze that was waiting in an adjacent alley and was driven by an unidentified woman. The car’s license plate is 7RJD742.
Police are asking for the public’s help in finding Holder. No additional details about him were released. Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday morning to provide updates on the investigation.
Eric Holder is wanted for Homicide in the shooting of Nipsey Hussle. He was last seen in a 2016 white 4 door Chevy Cruze CA license plate 7RJD742. Anyone with information related to his whereabouts or this deadly shooting is urged to contact South Bureau Homicide at 323-786-5100 pic.twitter.com/3pX4fbezDs
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) April 2, 2019
Details about Holder were released shortly after 19 people were taken to local hospitals—two in critical condition—after a vigil for Hussle turned violent Monday night. At least one of the critically-injured persons was struck by a car and the other one had a “penetrating injury,” although it’s unclear whether that person was stabbed or cut by broken glass. Two other injuries were serious and 15 were considered non-life threatening.
We understand the community is mourning and we feel your loss.
We are asking for everyone to follow the officers directions and disperse from the immediate area.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) April 2, 2019
The vigil was held outside The Marathon clothing store where Hussle hoped to spark revitalization for the neighborhood where he grew up. Hussle, 33, and his business partner purchased property in the Crenshaw neighborhood, intending to knock it down and erect a six-story residential building atop a commercial plaza, with The Marathon as its anchor.
Hussle’s death brought mourning and tributes from politicians, musicians and the local community.
“Nipsey’s activism, leadership and dedication to community was an inspiration for Californians and beyond,” tweeted California senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris. “His senseless death leaves us worse off.”
Nipsey’s activism, leadership, and dedication to community was an inspiration for Californians and beyond. His senseless death leaves us worse off. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and the greater Los Angeles community.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 1, 2019
By Monday, hundreds of people formed a circle in front of the closed store to pay their respects. A memorial of candles, flowers and paintings of Hussle took shape in front of the store and in the parking lot. Blaring loudly through several speakers, some of Hussle’s popular songs were being played including “The Weather,” ″Double Up” and “Hussle & Motivate.”
Some shed tears. Many mourners pulled out their phones to document the scene.
Dontae Coleman, 28, who lives in the neighborhood, fell to his knees and cried.
“Someone changed history yesterday,” he said, referring to the gunman.
Coleman commended the rapper for trying to uplift his own community first instead of simply going elsewhere.
“A lot of people who get rich don’t come back here,” he said. “He’s rare. A lot of people like him don’t come around often.”
Denise Francis Woods, a neighborhood resident who is running for City Council, remembered when Hussle used to sell his demo tapes on street corners in the neighborhood for $5.
“People would tease him,” she said. “They didn’t think that this would work out and look what happened. He persevered, he stayed in, he never gave up.” The effort took him to a whole other level “where he ended up owning property on the same corner.”
An autopsy performed Monday found that Hussle’s death was a homicide, caused by bullet wounds to the head and torso. Police did not reveal a motive or publicly identify any suspects. Two other men standing near Hussle were shot and wounded.
Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff tweeted that he and Police Chief Michel Moore had agreed to meet with Hussle on Monday to talk about ways to stop gang violence.
We (@LAPDChiefMoore and I ) were meeting , at the request of @NipseyHussle with him and @rocnation tomorrow at 4pm to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids. I’m so very sad https://t.co/rcGtvw9c6L
— Steve Soboroff (@SteveSoboroff) April 1, 2019
Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was an Eritrean-American father of two who was engaged to actress Lauren London.
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 @nipseyhussle pic.twitter.com/rKZ2agxm2a
— Rihanna (@rihanna) April 1, 2019
By Jonathan Landrum and Andrew Dalton