Slain rapper was set to attend anti-gang violence meeting with police: Official

Monday, April 1, 2019

Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was gunned down on Sunday outside his clothing store in South Los Angeles, was scheduled to meet with the city's police chief and the president of police commission Monday afternoon to discuss ways he could help prevent children from getting involved in gangs.

"We're talking about programs to help underserved kids, to keep kids out of gangs. And this was his idea. We've been working on this meeting for three months. How I wish it would have been on Saturday," Steve Soboroff, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, told ABC News on Monday morning. The rapper has spoken publicly about his involvement with the Rollin' 60s gang, one of the biggest Crip gangs in Los Angeles.

Hussle, who was lauded as an entrepreneur in his home city and "inspiration to many," was standing in a parking lot outside his clothing store in L.A.'s Hyde Park area around 3:20 p.m. Sunday when a gunman approached and shot him multiple times and left two other people wounded, police said. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The coroner determined the rapper died from gunshot wounds to the head and torso, ruling the manner of death a homicide.

Police continued working Monday to identify the killer and anyone else who may have been involved in the shooting.

Soboroff said the meeting Nipsey Hussle had requested with him and Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore would go on as scheduled with representatives of Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by rapper Jay-Z, set to attend.

"I just got a note from Roc Nation that said go ahead and have the meeting," Soboroff said. "I still have to get it verified with the chief, but I told those guys we will."

Moore tweeted early Monday that the slaying of the 33-year-old rapper, who was born Ermias Asghedom and raised in the neighborhood where he was fatally shot, came during a "troubling surge in violence" in Los Angeles.

Moore tweeted that since last Sunday, 26 victims have been shot and there were an additional 10 homicides.

"That's 36 families left picking up the pieces," Moore tweeted. "We will work aggressively with our community to quell this senseless loss of life."

Just hours before he was killed, the rapper took to Twitter, writing, "Having strong enemies is a blessing."

Some of hip-hop's biggest and brightest stars took to social media on Sunday to mourn the entertainer's death.

Hundreds of fans congregated in front of Nipsey Hussle's store, The Marathon, where he was shot.

"I was a childhood friend. I've been knowing him all my life. He was like family to me," Marquesha Lawson, breaking down in tears, told ABC Los Angeles station KABC.

Fan Jennifer Marroquin said she was always moved by the rapper's music, which she described as "real."

"I loved his music. His music was very real," Marroquin told KABC. "It was not like music you hear nowadays that don't make sense. His music made a lot of sense to everybody. "

The rapper's debut studio album, "Victory Lap," received a 2019 Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, but hip-hop sensation Cardi B ultimately took home the win.

"Nipsey" quickly became the top trending topic on Twitter as celebrities -- Drake, Rihanna, LeBron James and Snoop Dogg among them -- and fans paid homage to the late rapper.

"My whole energy is just at a low right now hearing this. We just linked for the first time in years and said we were gonna do a new song this summer cause it had been too long," Drake captioned the picture. "You were having the best run and I was so happy watching from distance fam. Nobody ever talks down on your name."

Rihanna shared an image of the late rapper and his daughter, Emani Asghedom, at this year's Grammy Awards.

"This doesn't make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this!" Rihanna wrote in an Instagram post. "Dear God may His spirit Rest In Peace and May You grant divine comfort to all his loved ones! I'm so sorry this happened to you @nipseyhussle."

Pharrell, Meek Mill, Chance the Rapper, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nas and other Hollywood stars also sent condolences via social media.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represents South Los Angeles, where Hussle grew up, honored the rapper as a businessman and entrepreneur who was an "inspiration to many."

"We mourn his sudden and tragic passing and send his family our deepest condolences," Ridley-Thomas said in a statement. "As South Los Angeles' representative on the Board of Supervisors, I urge calm and a period of reflection. ... Our communities have lost too many young men and bright futures to the scourge of gun violence."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti similarly sent condolences.

"Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy," Garcetti tweeted Sunday. "L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence. My Crisis Response Team is assisting the families coping with shock and grief."

Hussle is survived by his two children and his girlfriend, actress Lauren London. He was known throughout greater Los Angeles for his philanthropy and community involvement.

ABC News' Alex Stone and Matt Zarrell contributed to this report.

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