Los Angeles police arrest Nipsey Hussle’s suspected killer

Police monitor a roadblock in front of the late Nipsey Hussle’s The Marathon Store in Los Angeles, California on April 2, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 03 April 2019

Los Angeles police arrest Nipsey Hussle’s suspected killer

  • The focus now shifts from the streets to the courtroom
  • Police said Eric Holder is a gang member, but the chief said gang rivalries played no role in the shooting

LOS ANGELES: After a nearly 48-hour manhunt, police arrested the suspect they say gunned down Nipsey Hussle in front of the popular rapper’s South Los Angeles clothing store.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies detained Eric Holder, 29, on Tuesday afternoon in the city of Bellflower, two days after the shooting and 20 miles away from the crime scene. LAPD detectives quickly arrived to verify that he was the suspect they’d sought.
The focus now shifts from the streets to the courtroom. Holder is likely to be charged with killing Hussle and to make his first appearance in front of a judge in the next two days.
Authorities announced Holder as a suspect Monday night, publicizing his face and name and publicly urging him to turn himself in. Police said a tip from a citizen led them to Holder.
Hussle and Holder knew each other, and the two had some kind of personal dispute in the hours before the rapper was killed, police Chief Michel Moore said at a news conference earlier Tuesday.
The two men had several interactions on Sunday, and Holder returned to the store with a handgun and opened fire on Hussle and two other men, who survived the shooting, police said.
The chief did not reveal how the two men were acquainted or offer any details about their dispute, but he emphasized it was a personal matter between Hussle and Holder. Hussle acknowledged that he was involved with a gang when he was younger, and police said Holder is a gang member, but the chief said gang rivalries played no role in the shooting.
After shooting Hussle and the two other men, Holder fled in a waiting car driven by a woman, Moore said.
The police chief and the president of the city’s Police Commission, Steve Soboroff, had been scheduled to meet with Hussle on Monday to discuss the relationship between the police force and the inner city.
At Tuesday’s news conference an emotional Soboroff read from the email Hussle sent asking for the meeting.
“Our goal is to work with the department to help improve communication, relationships and work toward changing the culture and dialogue between LAPD and your city,” Hussle said in the email.
A memorial with art, flowers and tributes to Hussle grew around the store that he had hoped would be an anchor to revive the blocks around it.
Hundreds of fans and friends came to celebrate him. The scene grew tense Monday night when one man brandished a gun and caused a stampede that left nearly two dozen people injured, police said.
The 33-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, had recently purchased the strip mall and planned to redevelop it into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex.
The plan was part of Hussle’s broader ambitions to remake the neighborhood where he grew up and attempt to break the cycle of gang life that lured him in when he was younger.
“Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman on Tuesday joined a chorus of prominent names who have praised Hussle for his art and his humanity.
“He’s a person that — he didn’t see himself just rising on his own, that he saw himself rising with his community, with the people that he actually grew up with and knew,” Boseman told The Associated Press at the CinemaCon expo in Las Vegas. “So, to me, anybody that puts that much energy back into their surroundings, you have to honor them.”
Boseman added, “People knew where his heart was. And his music was great.”


‘Into the Wild’ movie luring unprepared to Alaska wilderness

Updated 28 February 2020

‘Into the Wild’ movie luring unprepared to Alaska wilderness

  • Adventurers following in McCandless footsteps finding trouble themselves
  • Families of some of those who have died are proposing looking at building a footbridge over the River Teklanika

ANCHORAGE, Alaska: For more than a quarter-century, the old bus abandoned in Alaska’s punishing wilderness has drawn adventurers seeking to retrace the steps of a young idealist who met a tragic death in the derelict vehicle.
For many, Christopher McCandless’ legend was cemented in the “Into the Wild” book and movie. But scores of travelers following his journey along the Stampede Trail just outside Denali National Park have been rescued and others have died in the harsh reality of back-country terrain,
It is marked by no cell phone service, unpredictable weather and the raging Teklanika River, whose swollen banks prevented the 24-year-old Virginian from seeking help before his 1992 starvation death.
Now families of some of those who died are proposing looking at building a footbridge over the Teklanika. The effort is led by the husband of a 24-year-old newlywed woman from Belarus who died last year trying to reach the bus.
“People keep going there despite multiple accidents reported,” said Piotr Markielau, who was with his wife Veramika Maikamava when she was swept away by the river. “Making the crossing safer is a social responsibility. It is also a constructive and humane way to learn from people who died there.”
But some local officials in Denali Borough in Healy, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) away, fear a footbridge could give people a false impression of safety that doesn’t exist.
“It’ll only encourage more people to go,” says Denali Assembly member Jeff Stenger, who rejects the bridge idea and would prefer to see warning signs posted in the area.
Borough Mayor Clay Walker wants to see the bus relocated to a safer location on the other side of the Teklanika with the help of federal and state agencies.
“This bus has meaning to a lot of people, and the challenge will be to put together a plan that works for all,” Walker said.
A bridge would not have made a difference in the latest rescue. It involved five Italian tourists — one with frostbitten feet — who were rescued Saturday after visiting the dilapidated bus. There are other hazards, including harsh weather and dangerous terrain. Some attempting the trip are ill-prepared.
The long-discarded bus sits in a clearing on state land roughly half a mile (0.8 kilometers) from the boundary of the Denali National Park and Preserve.
Travelers often traverse park land to get to the bus, which was left in the wilderness to house construction crews working to improve the trail so trucks could haul ore from a mine, according to the book. It’s outfitted with a barrel stove and bunks, and McCandless wrote in his journal about living there for 114 days, right up until his death.
Author Jon Krakauer, who wrote “Into the Wild,” said he is “saddened and horrified” by the deaths of people trying to cross the Teklanika. He’s also skeptical building a bridge or moving the bus will solve the problem.
“I really don’t know what can be done or should be done about the unprepared ‘pilgrims’ who get into trouble and perish or need to be rescued,” he said in an email to The Associated Press. “I have no objection to removing the bus, or building a bridge to it, if a persuasive argument can be made that doing either of these things would solve the problem. I am skeptical about the wisdom of either of these proposed measures, however.”
McCandless’ sister agrees. Carine McCandless believes people will keep trying to reach the site, regardless of what locals decide. She said people send her messages every day from all over the world, identifying with her brother’s story, and she understands why people continue to make the trek.
“It is not Chris’s story they are following, it is their own, even if they don’t realize it at the time,” she said. “And as far as the lure of the bus — it’s not about the bus, either. If the bus is moved, people will simply erect a memorial in its place and continue to go there.”