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South LA Residents: Hussle's Killing Wasn't Gang-Related

Police believe motive in Nipsey Hussle slaying was personal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2019 8:11 AM CDT
Fans of rapper Nipsey Hussle appear at a makeshift memorial in the parking lot of Hussle's Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles, Monday, April 1, 2019.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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(Newser) – Nipsey Hussle spoke openly of his youthful membership in one of Los Angeles' biggest gangs—but police don't believe that's why the 33-year-old rapper was gunned down on Sunday. Law enforcement sources tells the Los Angeles Times they believe the suspect has gang ties, but they believe the dispute was personal, not gang-related. Eric Holder, 29, was identified as a suspect Monday night. Police say Holder, who is still at large, shot at Hussle as he stood outside a clothing store he owned in a strip mall Sunday afternoon, CNN reports. The suspect was then driven away by an "unidentified female," according to the LAPD, which is seeking the public's help in locating Holder. Hussle had bought the mall and planned to redevelop as part of his plan to help the struggling south LA neighborhood he grew up in, the AP reports.

Hussle joined the Rollin 60's Neighborhood Crips as a teenager and he wanted his community activism to help break the cycle of gang violence. "We dealt with death, with murder," he said last year. "It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it." South LA resident Latisha Roberts tells the Los Angeles Times that his death is all the more tragic because young people saw Hussle, who performed with rappers from rival gangs, as a role model. "The only people we hear saying that it's gang-related are the news and the media outlets," she says. "Everybody that’s in the 'hood, they know that’s not the case. Because then he would have been gone a long time ago." Police say 19 people were injured at a Monday night vigil for Hussle at the shooting site. They believe a fight started a stampede. (Read more Los Angeles stories.)

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