Police are continuing to seek the killer of rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot outside his store in South Los Angeles in a burst of gunfire that injured two other people, officials announced at a press conference Sunday night.
The Grammy-nominated rapper (legal name: Ermias Asghedom), whose business efforts in his native neighborhood made him a local hero as well as a celebrity, was pronounced dead after being shot multiple times in front of Marathon Clothing, the store he’d opened last year on the corner of Slauson and Crenshaw.
Hussle, 33, was shot at close range by a young man who then ran to a waiting getaway car, a source close to the situation told the Los Angeles Times, adding that based on initial information, the shooting is probably gang-related
At a news briefing Sunday night, a police spokesman said the suspect is a black male and is still at large.
“At this point, we’re not even sure as to whether he walked up, rode a bicycle or drove up in a car,” the official said.
Hussle had spoken often of his gang affiliations as a teenager, saying in a 2014 interview with Vlad TV that he had joined the Crips clique the Rollin’ 60s.
“We dealt with death, with murder,” he 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.”
Hundreds of fans and neighbors gathered outside Marathon Clothing to pay tribute after the shooting.
A resident named Glenn Taylor told the Times that Hussle owned several businesses on the block where he was shot, and spoke of his kindness to the community, giving jobs to struggling residents, donating money and clothing to a local elementary school.
“He did so much for our neighborhood,” he said. “That’s why I’m here today. This has to stop.”
L.A. City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson also released a statement, saying “Hussle had a vision of a neighborhood built for and by the sons and daughters of South L.A. During his life, he moved from shadows into the bright hope of freedom and community revitalization.”