Slain rapper Nipsey Hussle had a brief conversation about snitching with his accused killer before he was fatally gunned down earlier this year, newly revealed court documents claim.
The transcripts, unsealed Thursday by a judge, shed light on the events that preceded Hussle’s death. The 33-year-old rapper and philanthropist was gunned down in front of his Marathon clothing store on March 31; Eric R. Holder Jr., 29, was arrested and charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder in relation to the shooting less than one week later. Authorities have previously said that the shooting was related to a personal dispute, and the newly uncovered grand jury transcripts point to an exchange about snitching as the catalyst for the shooting.
Herman Douglas, a friend of Hussle’s, testified in May that he overheard a conversation between Hussle and Holder outside of Hussle’s store the day that he was killed, the Associated Press reports. Hussle, he said, told Holder that he’d heard Holder had been giving information about the Rollin’ 60s gang to authorities minutes before he was fatally shot.
“You need to address it,” Douglas recalled Hussle saying. “You know, basically telling the guy you need to be careful, you know, because people got some paperwork on you.”
Another witness also recalled a conversation about snitching, CNN reports. They testified that Holder asked Hussle, “Have you ever snitched?”
Deputy District Attorney John McKinney described the interaction as one that lasted four minutes, and one that was not “particularly tense” or “belligerent,” according to the outlet.
However, he pointed to that conversation as the catalyst that lead to Hussle’s murder during his closing argument, the Associated Press reports.
“Obviously, that conversation about snitching was enough that it moved Eric Holder to a point of wanting to return to the parking lot and kill Nipsey Hussle,” McKinney said.
The woman who is alleged to have driven Holder to and from the scene of the shooting also testified that she overheard a conversation about snitching, CNN reports. Speaking with the promise of immunity, she said that she and Holder were going out to get food that day when they spotted Hussle outside of his store. She heard only some of the conversation — Holder asking Hussle if he had ever snitched before — but later, when they were back on the road, she saw Holder start to load a gun.
After eating his food in her parked car, he got out of the vehicle and told her to wait; she heard two gunshots while he was gone, and when he returned, he ordered her to drive away and threatened to slap her if she didn’t, she said, according to CNN.
Holder is alleged to have returned to the parking lot outside of Hussle’s store mere minutes after their earlier conversation and shot him to death using two guns and firing at least 10 times, according to testimonies from investigators and a medical examiner obtained by the Associated Press.
Hussle was killed in the shooting and two other men were injured. One of the men, Kerry Lathan, told a grand jury in May that Holder told Hussle “you’re through” before he shot him, according to the outlet.
Holder was indicted on May 9 on one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a firearm, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. He pleaded not guilty in response to the charges.
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, rose to hip hop fame with his mixtapes but garnered a Grammy nomination with the release of his first studio album, “Victory Lap,” last year. Beyond his accomplishments in the music industry, however, Hussle was a philanthropist and entrepreneur known for his charitable works in the South Los Angeles area.
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