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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

LOS ANGELES (CNS)—A 29-year-old man suspected in the shooting death of rapper Nipsey Hussle in South Los Angeles was arrested Tuesday in Bellflower.

Eric Holder, 29, was arrested around 1 p.m. in the 9000 block of Artesia Boulevard by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies. Sheriff's officials could not immediately confirm the man was Holder, but Los Angeles Police Department officers were sent to verify his identity.

By 2:30 p.m., the LAPD had confirmed Holder's arrest.

"Thank you to both our community for the heightened awareness/vigilance, and our partners at (the sheriff's department)," the LAPD stated in a Twitter post.

Holder is accused of gunning down the 33-year-old rapper around 3:20 p.m. Sunday in front of The Marathon Clothing store the singer owned in the 3400 block of West Slauson Avenue in the Hyde Park area.

Los Angeles police Chief Michel Moore said Holder got into some type of personal dispute with the rapper outside the store, then left and returned with a handgun.

Hussle was shot in the head and body and died at a hospital, according to police and the coroner's office. Two other men were also injured in the shooting, although one declined to be taken to a hospital.

Moore declined to discuss the nature of the disagreement between Holder and Hussle, but stressed the shooting appeared to be a result of that dispute, not any type of gang rivalry or feud—despite what he described as a recent uptick in gang violence in the area.

"We believe this to be a dispute between Mr. Hussle and Mr. Holder," Moore said. "I'm not going to go into the conversations, but it appears to be a personal matter between the two of them."

After the shooting, Holder was seen getting into a passenger seat of a white, four-door 2016 Chevrolet Cruze with California license plate 7RJD742, Moore said. The car was driven by an unidentified female.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the woman had surrendered to police, but the LAPD could not immediate confirm the report.

At a news conference Tuesday morning at LAPD headquarters, Moore mourned Hussle's death.

"We join, as does all of Los Angeles, in a somber day in the aftermath of a senseless, another senseless homicide, of an individual who posed such an opportunity to step into a conversation to help this city work its way through a sickness, a challenge, a seemingly tragic love affair with gun violence."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called for the community to work together and refrain from more violence.

"We have a reason to feel hopeful, even in the moments of our most extreme pain," Garcetti said. "And that's by turning to each other. We saw that, and we've seen that, since Nipsey was taken from us. That love that is out there—and I ask everybody who is grieving for him to grieve for the families of those other victims as well whose lives were just as important and just as significant. ...

"The absolute worst way to pay back Nipsey's loss—somebody we lost at the hands of violence—is with more violence," Garcetti said.

Hussle had been scheduled on Monday to meet with Moore and Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff to discuss ways of combating gang violence. Soboroff on Tuesday morning read for reporters the email he received from Hussle in February requesting the meeting. He said the gathering will eventually be held in his honor, with members of Hussle's family and representatives of Roc Nation, the entertainment production company founded by Jay-Z.

"The meeting will happen," Soboroff said.

Hussle transformed himself from a South Los Angeles gang member to a rap musician, and channeled his success into efforts to help other stay out of gangs. He bought shoes for students, re-paved basketball courts and provided jobs and shelter for the homeless.

Hussle helped renovate a Mid-City roller rink and redeveloped the strip mall that housed his Marathon Clothing shop where he was fatally wounded.

Surveillance video from a business across the street obtained by TMZ appears to capture Sunday's shooting. The video shows a suspect walking to the clothing store, where multiple people were standing outside. The shooting occurs quickly afterward, although it cannot be clearly seen on the video. But one person can be seen falling to the ground, and at least three people are seen running from the parking lot.