Addressing a crush of reporters at LAPD headquarters, police Chief Michel Moore called for suspect Eric Holder to turn himself in and described the circumstances that triggered a stampede at a memorial candlelight vigil Monday night.
According to Moore, a person in the crowd tried to disarm an individual who had brandished a handgun. A struggle ensued, and bystanders began running in an attempt to find safety. An LAPD commander who was positioned nearby said no gunfire occurred.
Eric Holder is wanted for Homicide in the shooting of Nipsey Hussle. He was last seen in a 2016 white 4 door Chevy Cruze CA license plate 7RJD742. Anyone with information related to his whereabouts or this deadly shooting is urged to contact South Bureau Homicide at 323-786-5100 pic.twitter.com/3pX4fbezDs— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) April 2, 2019
Moore also discussed a recent broader surge in violent crime in the city, but emphasized that investigators believe the shooting that claimed Hussle's life was the result of a personal grievance and not gang-related.
Moore and police commission President Steve Soboroff had planned to meet with Hussle, who joined the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips gang as a teenager, before the hip-hop artist's demise. They had intended to discuss preventing gang violence.
Soboroff read from the email Hussle had sent requesting the meeting. The commissioner expressed the shock he felt when he first heard the news of the rapper's death, and vowed to hold the meeting with members of Hussle's family and officials from the entertainment company Roc Nation.
Mayor Eric Garcetti described Hussle as a "tireless advocate" for his community whose "impact on our city was deep."
"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."
According to the LAPD, Holder is believed to have killed Hussle and wounded two others on Sunday afternoon. The suspect allegedly fled the scene in a white 2016 Chevy Cruze with California license plate 7RJD742, with an unidentified woman as the getaway driver.
Meanwhile, a cleanup operation continued at the scene of the vigil, where chaos erupted and left at least 19 people injured. Two were transported to hospitals in critical condition, including one person who was struck by a vehicle.
Dozens of LAPD officers cleared the area near a massive makeshift memorial at Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard after the altercation that triggered the stampede.
Unfounded reports initially indicated that a shooting had sparked the panic outside Hussle's The Marathon clothing store.
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