Nipsey Hussle Killed After an Exchange About 'Snitching,' Grand Jury Witness Says - NBC Southern California
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Nipsey Hussle Killed After an Exchange About 'Snitching,' Grand Jury Witness Says

Nipsey Hussle, 33, was shot to death March 31 during an argument outside the Marathon clothing store he founded

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getaway Driver Says She Tried to Surrender in Nipsey Hussle Murder

    Grand jury testimony unsealed Thursday revealed shocking details, including how when the getaway driver for suspect Eric Holder tried to tell LAPD she was involved, the officer turned her away, saying, "Don't believe what you see on TV." Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 27, 2019. (Published Friday, June 28, 2019)

    What to Know

    • A transcript of the grand jury proceeding in the killing of rapper and philanthropist Nipsey Hussle was released Thursday

    • The transcript includes details provided by witnesses about Nipsey Hussle's March 31 encounter with his accused killer

    • It also has statements from the woman who said she drove the suspect to and from the murder scene

    Rapper Nipsey Hussle accused the man now charged with his murder of being a snitch minutes before the man allegedly used two handguns to kill him and wound two other men, according to a transcript of a grand jury hearing unsealed in Los Angeles Thursday.

    Details about the deadly March 31 encounter outside Nipsey's Marathon clothing store with suspect Eric Holder were included in the transcripts. A judge in downtown Los Angeles overruled objections from prosecutors and defense attorneys and unsealed the transcript.

    Witnesses told the grand jurors they heard fragments of the conversation between Hussle, 33, and Eric Holder, who’s been charged with murder in the death of Ermias Asghedom (Nipsey Hussle) and the attempted murders of two other men shot during the killing.

    "Nipsey was like, 'Man, you know, they got some paperwork on you, you know. I haven’t read it, you know. Like you my bro, you know. Like maybe you need to take care of that, you know,’” one witness told the grand jury in early May.

    Thousands Gather for Nipsey Hussle's Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Staples Center

    [LA] Thousands Gather for Nipsey Hussle's Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Staples Center

    Thousands of fan show their love for the rapper who through his music taught fans to stay positive and move forward. Darsha Philips reports for the NBC4 News at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, 2019. 

    (Published Thursday, April 11, 2019)

    The witness explained that Nipsey’s words were a warning to Holder but said he didn’t know what was behind it. When asked whether Nipsey identified specifically what Holder supposedly snitched about, the witness did not provide details, according to the documents.

    Police have said the shooting in front of businesses Hussle owned was the result of a personal dispute between the men. During the grand jury hearing that spanned several days prosecutors drew out a significant amount of testimony that showed Holder was a gang member and had been seen carrying two handguns similar to those used in the killing: a silver revolver and a black semi-automatic. 

    Hussle was shot at least 10 times, with rounds piercing his lungs and severing his spinal cord, according to testimony from a medical examiner who reviewed the autopsy. Police found eight expended casings from a .40 pistol at the scene, and six bullets were pulled from Hussle’s body.

    Another witness said Holder uttered the words to Hussle, "You’re through,” during the shooting, and said he heard Hussle try to say a name after he’d been fatally wounded. 

    The woman who said she drove Holder to and from the murder scene testified anonymously and with an immunity agreement. She said she had no idea Holder was a gang member or that he was responsible for the shooting -- even after he ran to her car carrying the two handguns seconds after she heard gunshots.

    "I know like if he got hurt or something happened," she said.

    This image shows a portion of witness testimony included in a grand jury transcript released June 27, 2019 in the murder of Nipsey Hussle.
    Photo credit: NBCLA

    Later, after she said she and her mother had watched news broadcasts that showed her car, she tried to talk to LAPD officers at the 77th Street station but was turned-away by an officer at the front desk. 

    "When we got to the station, the police officer in the little circle thing where you go in at, like the reception part, I was explaining to them that my car was on the news and it’s been involved in a murder and everything, and I was trying to, you know, talk to someone about it," she said. “One of the police officers is like, ‘Well don’t worry about it,’ you know, ‘Don’t listen to the news,’ you know. And then my mom said, ‘Well, she needs to talk to somebody.’ But he said, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ so we just left,” the woman said.

    LA Superior Court Judge Robert Perry said he believed Holder could receive a fair trial even after the public was able to review the evidence presented by prosecutors during the secret grand jury hearing.

    "Everything in the transcript is of an incriminating nature," LA County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told reporters outside court.

    McKinney said his concerns about the release had less to do with the public learning of the evidence in the case, rather, with the possibility the nature of the information could discourage witnesses from participating, and unsuccessfully argued that certain portions of the transcript should remain sealed. 

    Holder, 29, has pleaded not guilty. He also faces two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting two other men who were at the scene of the killing.

    This Priest Knew Ermias Asghedom Before Becoming Nipsey Hussle

    [LA] This Priest Knew Ermias Asghedom Before Becoming Nipsey Hussle

    They met in Los Angeles before Eritrean immigrant Thomas Uwal became a priest, and before another immigrant’s son, named Ermias Asghedom, became known to the world as Nipsey Hussle. They chose different paths, but they held in common a dedication to the betterment of their communities, and especially the future of their youth. Recognizing the long term commitment it required, Nipsey called it "The Marathon." At the Medhani-Alem Eritrean Orthodox Church of Los Angeles, where he now is a clergy member, Father Uwal led a service commemorating Nipsey's life and its special significance for the Eritrean-American community. That service took place a week to the day following the shooting attack that mortally wounded Nipsey. Another four days later, Father Uwal was called on to deliver the Scripture sermon at Staples Center for the grand celebration of Hussle’s life that was attended in person by some 15,000 people, and joined by far more watching the live television broadcasts. In between the two services, Father Uwal and Senior Priest, Father Techlehaimanot Kiflezgi, welcomed NBC4's Patrick Healy into their faiths Church on Western Avenue for a discussion of Hussle’s legacy, and the lessons they see in it.

    (Published Friday, April 19, 2019)

    Holder and Hussle were at one time close friends, associates told NBCLA. Police said Holder and Hussle had several conversations outside the store on the day of the murder before Holder returned and began shooting.

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