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Nipsey Hussle murder suspect Eric Holder arrested by LAPD

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UPDATE: Eric Holder, the chief suspect in the Nipsey Hussle murder, has been apprehended in the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Holder’s arrest came after the woman who was his alleged getaway driver turned herself in to authorities, according to police.

The news came hours after a morning news conference in which the LAPD publicly identified the 29-year-Holder and issued a warrant for his arrest, calling him a “substantial risk to public safety.”

Police had released a photo of Holder with information about the vehicle he was last seen in. The department said it was “seeking the public’s help in locating the suspect involved in a multiple victim shooting which resulted in a homicide.”

“We believe with probable cause and a degree of certainty … that Mr. Holder walked up on multiple occasions and engaged in a conversation with Nipsey and the others that were there,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a press conference Tuesday morning. “He left and then came back and subsequently came back armed with a handgun and purposefully and repeatedly fired, striking and killing Nipsey Hussle.”

Hussle, real name Ermias Joseph Asghedom, died on Sunday afternoon after being shot outside his South Los Angeles clothing store, Marathon Clothing. He was 33. Two other men were injured in the incident, but survived. The murder came weeks after the activist’s only studio album, Victory Lap, was up for Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards.

Moore believes the motive was personal and not a dispute “related to rivalries between gangs.” (It was initially speculated the fatal shooting was gang-related as Hussle had spoken of his previous affiliation with the Rollin’ 60s Crips.) However, Moore said Holder is believed to be “a member of a street gang.”

“We believe this to be a dispute between Mr. Hussle and Mr. Holder,” he told reporters. “I’m not going to go into the conversations, but it appears to be a personal matter between the two of them in regards to a dispute and I’ll leave it at that.” Moore confirmed that police “believe they were known to each other.”

Aside from Holder, the LAPD announced detectives were interested in “identifying and apprehending” the driver of the vehicle the suspect was last seen in.

“These two individuals, Mr. Holder and the female that was driving the vehicle … are our primary interest,” Moore revealed, saying they will “pursue and vigorously prosecute” anyone helping or harboring Holder. “There should be no safe haven for this individual.”

On Monday night, chaos erupted at a vigil outside of Marathon Clothing where hundreds of people gathered to pay their respect to Hussle, who did so much for the South Los Angeles community. One person was stabbed and others injured after someone in the crowd was spotted with a handgun, according to Moore.

“We have no information that he shot anyone with it, but that another individual there seeing that… attempted to disarm him. In that struggle, it caused panic in that group of hundreds of people,” Moore explained, saying the panic caused a stampede. Many of the injuries were sustained from falls.

Nipsey Hussle performs onstage before the 2018 BET Awards on June 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for BET)
Nipsey Hussle performs onstage before the 2018 BET Awards on June 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for BET)

TMZ obtained surveillance footage that appears to show the murder suspect. Thirty minutes before the shooting, the Los Angeles born rapper tweeted about having “strong enemies.”

The L.A. County Coroner’s Office confirmed on Monday that Hussle died of gunshot wounds to the head and torso. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

The “Racks in the Middle” rapper was supposed to meet Monday with Moore and Commissioner Steve Soboroff “to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids,” according to Soboroff. Hussle was widely known for his work around the community and giving back to South Los Angeles.

In interviews, Hussle did not hide the fact he joined the Rollin’ 60s gang as a teenager.

“We dealt with death, with murder,” he later told The Times in 2018. “It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while.”

Moore held a meeting Monday at the Watts Civic Center and vowed to bring Hussle’s assailants to justice, calling the circumstances tragic. “Throughout the years as he fostered success in his music career … he chose, rather than to leave … to come back and reinvest. And to reinvest and try to address the various underpinnings that fostered this environment,” he declared.

Community leaders have urged people to come forward with information and not retaliate.

“Violent retaliation for this event will not be tolerated,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said, per The Times. “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.”

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