Los Angeles police said Tuesday that they do not believe the shooting death of Nipsey Hussle, a local rapper open about his Crip affiliation, was connected to gang violence.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said during a press conference that the rapper’s death “is not related to rivalries between gangs,” but was rather “a dispute between individuals.”
Hussle, real name Ermias Asghedom, was gunned down on Sunday afternoon in South Los Angeles outside The Marathon Clothing store that he owned. Two other people were non-fatally shot, as well.
Police have identified a man named Eric Holder as the main suspect in the murder. He remains at large.
Additionally, more than a dozen people were injured, including one person who was reportedly stabbed, during a Monday vigil for the rapper outside of the store, located on Crenshaw Blvd. and Slauson Ave.
Moore also stressed the need for law enforcement to step up its efforts against gang violence in the wake of Hussle’s death. In the week leading up to the shooting, the city counted 26 shootings and 10 homicides, according to the Washington Post.
“[We need to] keep intervening and finding ways of resolving disputes without people resulting to a bullet with no name on it,” Moore said, making a reference to Hussle’s popular mixtape series, “Bullets Ain’t Got No Names.”
Hussle referenced his affiliation with the Rollin 60s Crips both in his music and in interviews.
In a 2014 sit-down with hip-hop vlogger DJ Vlad, Hussle spoke about leaving his house at 14 and linking up with the Rollin 60s in order to take care of himself.
“I was doing things to try and get money,” he said, adding that he always wanted to get into making music. “That was my first passion.”
Before he was killed, Hussle was known as a leader in his community who opened various businesses — including The Marathon, as well as a restaurant and a shop that sells basic necessities — in order to put money back in his neighborhood.
Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that he still has “hope for the future” despite the tragic murder.
“This is about young people of color having opportunities in their lives,” he said during Tuesday’s press conference. “The absolute worse way to pay back Nipsey’s loss is with more violence.”
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