(Reuters) – Los Angeles police on Tuesday said the man named as a suspect in the fatal shooting of rapper Nipsey Hussle allegedly killed him two days ago over a personal dispute that was not gang-related.
Police said that Eric Holder, 29, of Los Angeles, was a suspect in the shooting and that he was still at large. He fled the crime scene in a Chevy Cruze driven by an unidentified woman, Police Chief Michel Moore told reporters.
“We are currently working with the district attorney’s office to seek the necessary information to obtain a warrant for his arrest,” Moore said during a news conference on Tuesday. “We believe this to be a dispute between Mr. Hussle and Mr. Holder.”
Hussle, 33, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was shot multiple times on Sunday afternoon outside of his clothing store, Marathon Clothing, in south Los Angeles, and was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Two other people were wounded in the shooting, police said.
The driver of the vehicle was also a person of interest, Moore said. Authorities had no information that indicated Hussle’s death was related to gang activity, he said.
The rapper’s death rattled the U.S. entertainment and hip-hop world, with celebrities posting memories of the musician on social media. Hussle’s debut studio album, “Victory Lap” was nominated for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.
At least two people were critically injured and 10 others hurt after hundreds of fans stampeded during a vigil for Hussle outside his clothing store late on Monday, officials and media reports said. Gunfire was reported in the crowd, but Moore said on Twitter that those reports were inaccurate.
A local ABC news station reported on Twitter: “A HUGE stampede of people rushed out of the @NipseyHussle memorial area. People thought they heard something break or a loud noise and started running.”
Hussle, who is of Eritrean descent, grew up in south Los Angeles. He talked about belonging to a street gang in the past but more recently become a community organizer and activist, officials said.
He had planned to meet with Steve Soboroff, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, to work on ways to prevent gang violence in his neighborhood.
“I was excited about the meeting. Here was somebody coming in to say ‘how can we help’?” Soboroff said on Tuesday during the news conference. “I want to help do what he wanted to do.”
Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; editing by Michael Perry, Larry King and Bill Berkrot