Ermias Asghedom, "Nipsey Hussle," 33
Ermias Asghedom, also known as the rap artist Nipsey Hussle, a 33-year-old black man, was shot and killed Sunday, March 31, in the 3400 block of West Slauson Avenue in Hyde Park, according to Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner’s records.
About 3:20 p.m. Hussle, along with two others, were standing outside the rapper’s store, Marathon Clothing, when a man walked up and fired “numerous” shots at the three men.
Hussle was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m., according to coroner’s records. The two others were wounded but survived.
The gunman ran through an alley to a waiting white Chevy Cruze, driven by a woman, who later told police she was unaware of the shooting. A day after the incident, police identified the suspect as 29-year-old Eric Ronald Holder Jr. and released his photograph.
On April 2, a person spotted Holder in Bellflower and he was taken into custody by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Police believe that Holder, a rapper who went by the name Fly Mac, had gone to Hussle’s store, spoke with him, then left, and returned with a handgun.
Although Holder is believed to be a gang member, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said that the shooting had nothing to do with gang rivalries, but instead was a personal dispute between the two men.
“We join, as does all of Los Angeles, on a somber day in the aftermath of another senseless homicide," Moore said.
Moore called the shootings a "sickness," adding that some people in the city have a "seemingly tragic love affair with gun violence."
Hussle was praised for his work beyond music, from the small businesses he purchased in the Crenshaw district where he grew up to his creative thinking about entrepreneurship as a path away from violence and poverty.
"He was a gifted and brilliant artist, an entrepreneur who found global success, who was working closely with this city to save lives and transform them, even as he was doing that for himself," Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "He was a tireless advocate for the young people of this city and this world, to lift them up with possibility and to not be imprisoned by where you come from or past mistakes."
Holder was charged April 4 with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
His attorney, Chris Darden, entered a plea of not guilty. Darden is best known as one of the prosecutors during the O.J. Simpson trial.
Photo: The vigil outside Hussle's South L.A. store. Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times