Rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed Sunday afternoon, shot in broad daylight outside of his store in South Los Angeles, leaving two other people wounded, police said.
Hussle, known as much for his music as for his civic efforts in South L.A., was shot in multiple times about 3:20 p.m. and rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was 33.
Los Angeles police closed off the area at West Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard. Shortly before 7 p.m., officers were canvassing the area near The Marathon Store at 3420 W. Slauson Ave., searching for a suspect who police said had fled either on foot or in a vehicle.
A crowd of hundreds of mourners also gathered outside the store on Sunday evening, playing Hussle’s music as the sun set. Elsewhere, several of Hussle’s fellow rappers and other celebrities took to social media to share their shock and condolences.
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was an up-and-coming hip-hop artist, who after releasing his highly anticipated debut album “Victory Lap” in 2018, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album.
Hussle grew up in South L.A. in the 1990s. He made no secret of his early life in a street gang, saying in a 2014 interview with YouTube channel Vlad TV, that he had joined the Rollin’ 60s, a notorious Crips gang clique, as a teenager.
“We dealt with death, with murder,” he told The Times in 2018. “It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while.”
Hussle was equally well-known in South L.A. for his work as a community organizer.
He was involved in the new Destination Crenshaw arts project. And he opened a co-working space named Vector 90 in the Crenshaw district, designed to call attention to the lack of diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The goal of the co-working space, Hussle told The Times in 2018, was to serve as a conduit between underrepresented groups and corporate partners in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Hussle developed a deep love of both music and technology while growing up.
"In our culture, there's a narrative that says, 'Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,'" he told The Times in 2018. "And that's cool but there should be something that says, 'Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg.’ I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that's waving that flag."
Hussle combined his interests in several entrepreneurial pursuits, including the store outside of which he was shot. He called it a “smart store” because visitors could use an app to enhance their experience while shopping for his fashion brand, the Marathon Clothing.
Times staff writer Sonaiya Kelley contributed to this story.