Eric Holder, a 29-year-old Los Angeles-based aspiring rapper and alleged Crips gang member, is accused in the murder of popular rapper and businessman Nipsey Hussle. Holder was arrested Tuesday afternoon in the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower. Earlier in the day, police had urged Holder to turn himself in.
“I ask him (Holder) to surrender,” implored the police chief before the arrest was made. “…Stop this from continuing.” Videos circulated showing the arrest.
Holder is being held in solitary confinement out of fears he could be a target.
Video also showed Holder being moved into LAPD custody.
Holder was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The LAPD tweeted, “Eric Holder, the suspected killer of Nipsey Hussle, has been arrested and is in police custody. Thank you to both our community for the heightened awareness/vigilance, and our partners at @LASDHQ.”
A video posted on social media claims to show the moment the man believed to be Holder was arrested:
According to TMZ, the man was arrested in the LA suburb of Bellflower about 12:50 p.m. local time in the 9000 block of Artesia Boulevard. The gossip website also cited a source saying the LAPD is responding to the scene to “make a positive ID.”
The Los Angeles Times reported the alleged female getaway driver of Holder has turned herself in. Her name was not yet released. She told TMZ she didn’t know that Holder had been involved in the shooting when she picked him up.
The unidentified woman told the gossip website, “she was with him Sunday when they drove to Nipsey’s clothing store near the Crenshaw District of L.A. She claims she was waiting for him in the alley when he went over to the clothing store. She also claims she didn’t know why he was going there and he didn’t say anything when he came back to the car.”
People on social media identified the suspect earlier April 1 as a man who goes by the street names “Shitty Cuz,” and “Fly Mac,” and photos of Eric Holder, a wannabe rapper, match the man known by those nicknames, including his neck tattoo. You can see photos and videos from his Instagram and Facebook pages throughout this article, but be forewarned that the language in some of them is graphic and disturbing. In 2018, a blog called him “up and coming West-Coast underground Hip Hop artist Fly Mac.”
Here’s a picture of “Shitty Cuz.”
A now-deleted YouTube video of his once read, “First single of the hot up and coming rapper Fly Mac, westcoast based rapper has been at it for a couple years now and is ready for his big break.” However, he doesn’t appear to have had much of a following, on social media or otherwise.
“We are currently working with the District Attorney’s office…to obtain a warrant for his (Holder’s) arrest. But we believe with probable cause and a degree of certainty on Sunday…” that Holder is the assailant, the police chief, Michel Moore, said in a press conference. “Nipsey with two other males were standing in front of his store. Mr. Holder walked up on multiple occasions and engaged in a conversation with Nipsey and the others that were there. He left and then came back and subsequently came back armed with a handgun and purposely and repeatedly fired.”
Holder was identified through video evidence and statements from the community, the chief said. “The community is helping us solve this case.” As for motive? “We believe this to be a dispute between Mr. Hussle and Mr. Holder… it appears to be a personal matter between the two of them. I will leave it at that,” said Moore.
Holder entered the passenger side of a Chevy Cruze vehicle, said the chief. It was located in an alley adjacent to the mini mall where Hussle was gunned down. The woman who was driving is still unidentified, he said. “Armed with a handgun…this expression of violence represents that this is a man who is a substantial risk to public safety,” said the chief. In urging the gunman to turn himself in, Moore indicated that he was confident that Holder was watching the televised press conference.
Hussle, the 33-year-old musician and entrepreneur, was fatally shot outside of his clothing store in Los Angeles, sparking days of vigils from his community. Two others were wounded in the shooting Sunday, March 31, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
LAPD wrote late on the evening of April 1: “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.” The mayor also gave out Holder’s name at a press conference on April 2.
“This has been a tough few days for Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We learned that another young life was cut short by a gun in our city…Nipsey Hussle…was someone who was a gifted and brilliant artist. An entrepreneur who found global success. He was working closely with this city. He was a tireless advocate for the young people of this city and this world. His impact on our city was deep.”
He added: “The hard working men at the Los Angeles Police Department have identified the person believed to be responsible for this devastating crime.” He said there had been an uptick in shootings in the area and urged people not to respond to their grief with more violence.
A police press release, released around 10:30 p.m. local time on April 1, read, “Detectives have worked tirelessly and are now asking for the public’s help in locating the suspect in this case. The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Eric Holder of Los Angeles.”
Here’s what we know so far about Eric Holder, the suspect named in Nipsey Hussle’s death:
1. Police Sources Said the Suspect – Whose Social Media Shows Him With a Crips Tattoo – Was Someone Nipsey Hussle Knew
Two to three weeks ago, LAPD saw an increase in gang and shooting violence, particularly impacting African-American men, the police chief said in a news conference. “This is a voice that was trying to help,” said the chief, Michel Moore, about Nipsey Hussle.
Police have investigated this case “relentlessly” to identify Holder as the suspect, said the chief.
If Hussle was trying to better his community, the opposite might be said about Eric Holder, whom police allege is a member of a street gang.
Here’s dispatch audio from the arrest.
Some sources have alleged that Holder is a member of the Crips street gang. Hussle has long been associated with the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, one of Los Angeles’ largest street gangs.
Facebook posts on a page under Holder’s rap name Fly Mac shows him with a Crips tattoo. “Bro stay fly crippin,” a woman wrote under one photo from 2016.
“We believe Mr. Holder is a member of a street gang,” the police chief confirmed, but he added that authorities did not believe the shooting was the result of gang rivalries. He would not name the gang.
Police wrote that detectives from LAPD’s South Bureau Homicide Division are seeking the public’s help in locating the suspect “involved in a multiple victim shooting which resulted in a homicide.” Police said that the shooting unfolded when, around 3:20 p.m. on March 31, 2019, three male adults were standing in front of a business in a strip mall in the 3400 block of West Slauson Blvd. The suspect walked up to the men and fired numerous shots at them, wrote police. “The victims were struck and fell to the ground.”
The suspect “ran southbound through an adjacent alley to a waiting vehicle,” said police. “The suspect entered the passenger side of the vehicle and fled the area….the vehicle was driven by an unidentified female,” wrote the LAPD.
Two victims were taken to the hospital with one refusing medical treatment at the scene. Nipsey Hussle died as a result of his gunshot wounds, confirmed police.
Police sources told the New York Daily News that the suspect was someone Nipsey Hussle knew. While the shooting could be classified as gang-related because of the rapper’s previous connection to a notorious Los Angeles gang, sources told the Daily News that the motive is believed to have stemmed from a personal “deal gone wrong,” rather than a rival gang member taking a shot at Hussle.
A source also told the Los Angeles Times that the shooting was possibly not tied to a larger gang dispute.
Just hours before he was killed, Nipsey Hussle tweeted, “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”
Hussle, whose real name is Ermias Asghedom, was gunned down a day before he was set to meet with LAPD and city officials to talk about gang violence. Hussle, who was shot in the head and torso, talked about being affiliated with the Rollins’ 60s, a Crips gang clique. He had been working to help community leaders reduce violence in the neighborhood in which he grew up. In the hours after his death, praise for the rapper poured in, with stories of how he gave back to the Crenshaw area after making out and launching a successful entertainment career. He opened his Hyde Park store, Marathon Clothing, in 2017. On Sunday, Nipsey Hussle was killed outside of that store.
TMZ has obtained a copy of a surveillance video that captures the Nipsey Hussle shooting, including the suspect from afar. The video is grainy, and, as a result, it is not particularly graphic. However, be forewarned that it’s still disturbing because of the moment it captures.
You can watch the video here:
The video does show that Nipsey Hussle and the suspect were in a group of people before the shooting broke out and a man falls on the ground in front of a white car. Another man also falls. The suspect then appears to kick the prone man, and runs off. Another man also runs frantically away from the scene in the disturbing video.
According to TMZ, the video shows the suspect shoot Nipsey three times, he briefly leaves, and he then returns and shoots Nipsey Hussle again, before kicking him.
“Nipsey Hussle is a shining example of the best of what we can be,” said Marqueece Harris-Dawson, a council member, at a press conference. He described his story as redemptive. “At some point in his life, he made the decision he was going to be part of the solution.”
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in the news conference that “I’m simply here on behalf of the county of Los Angeles… to declare that we pursue justice and at the same time we embrace peace.”
Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff tweeted that the meeting with officials was to talk about ways Hussle could help stop gang violence and “help us help kids. I’m so very sad.”
“Most people who make it, they don’t come back. He (Hussle) came back. He came back to help out,” his childhood friend, Danielle Jakes, told CBS Los Angeles. “He never forgot where he came from, that’s what he didn’t do. He never forgot where he came from. He was always humble, nice, loved to have a good time, you know. That’s who he was.”
2. Eric Holder’s Instagram Page Calls Himself a ‘Boss King’ & ‘Cool Young King’
On Instagram, Eric Holder’s page is called “ima_god_in_da_streetz.” He labeled himself “Boss King,” and wrote, “Cool young king….hood playa patna.” He also wrote: “I’m so hood..” He posted several videos to his page. One of his posts read “Slauson Avenue.” Nipsey died at Slauson and Crenshaw, where he had a clothing store.
Meanwhile, people have filled the page up with negative comments.
Hussle and two co-owners opened the Marathon Clothing store in June 2017 at a star-studded event that included appearances from rappers and NBA players alike. It was dubbed a “smartstore.” That means it was complete with a smartphone app on which fans could buy exclusive content and products.
“Another senseless homicide of an individual who posed such an opportunity…to help this city,” the police chief Michel Moore said of the death.
“I wanted to open up a brick and mortar physical retail in this area and thought, ‘What’s the trajectory and likelihood of being successful as e-commerce grows?'” he said in an interview with Billboard at the time.
3. ‘Shitty Cuz’ Had a Soundcloud Account That Called Himself ‘Da Great’ & Has a Criminal History
Los Angeles court records show that Eric Holder has a criminal history.
In 2009, charges were dismissed. The statutes listed are for domestic violence and battery. He also faced traffic offenses, such as driving without a license, in 2011. They’re listed as pending. His full name is listed in court records as Eric Ronald Holder.
He was accused of carrying a loaded firearm and carrying a concealed weapon in the same case. The first charge resulted in a guilty plea and the second was dismissed. They date to 2012. He received three years’ probation and 180 days in the Los Angeles County Jail. In 2015, there was a probation revocation hearing in the case.
Although Nipsey Hussle had made it big in the rap world, recording with some of the music industry’s biggest names, Shitty Cuz was trying to make his way in the same field, per his Soundcloud account, which you can access here.
“For bookings and to submit beats email…FLY_MAC60 ….plenty n*ggas hate cuz I’m da great…im a westcoast artist…..” the page says. A Facebook page in the name “Fly Mac” contains a few photos of Eric Holder and was created two days before the murder. The page was coded “musician/band.” Another Facebook page with the same photos, one of which was posted in 2018, says the suspect went to “Crenshaw High School.”
He wrote in 2016 on Facebook: “I aint been doin sh*t out here in long beach…stayin out da way n keepin 2 myself…and talkin to no 1.”
Here’s another song from the page. He used the hashtag #gangster rap.
Here’s another song:
Nipsey Hussle had spoken openly about the Crips.
“When you around 100 Crips, you still a Blood. When 40-Glocc and them run up on you, you still a Blood. And I ain’t talking about Wayne. I got respect for they movement and I like the dude as an artist. But I’m just saying on some gangbang shit, when you go to the county jail and you walk in the court tank and it’s 50 of your enemies, you still gonna say the 60s (Rollin 60 Neighborhood Crips). Or you not a gangbanger. Your homies gonna hear about it, beat you up, kick you in your ass, and you was for nothin’. I know in the real world in this shit, a lot of niggas wouldn’t make it. So like I said, it’s an overstanding I got about it. I look at it like these niggas is totally out of character,” he told Complex in a 2010 interview.
But in recent years, Nipsey had become heavily involved in the community, most recently investing in the new Destination Crenshaw arts project, a 1.3-mile-long “outdoor art and culture experience celebrating Black Los Angeles.”
Nipsey was also an investor in Vector90, a professional co-working space in Crenshaw which he described as a “bridge between Silicon Valley and the inner city” that would also include STEM classes. There were plans to open more in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and other underserved neighborhoods all over the country.
Nipsey told Forbes last year that in his younger days he had been influenced by “ignorance and self-destructiveness in the narrative that was pushed on us through music in our generation.”
In November, Hussle told Fox 11 that his goal is to leave a legacy and financial stability for his children.
“We playing the long game. We don’t want the money to stop when we go. When we can’t work no more. We want it to outlive us, we want it to be generational,” he said.
4. The Suspect, Eric Holder, Is Accused of ‘Snitching,’ Some Reports Say
TMZ is reporting that the gunman had a conversation with Hussle before the shooting in which Hussle accused him of “snitching.” Authorities have not confirmed that account.
The snitching theory is widely making the rounds on social media.
One man tried to douse conspiracy theories on the Internet. Some have alleged that Nipsey’s death might be tied to his announcement that he wanted to make a documentary of Dr. Sebi, a herbalist who died in police custody after claiming he’d found a cure for AIDS.
“No conspiracy No hit just a a low life rat who left and came back to do the devil’s work,” wrote Demetrius Shipp. “Please try to control your wild internet brain ..Some of us know him personally and it’s annoying as hell just like someone telling me about Pac who wasn’t there ..You a fan …When u succeed in the BLK community and try to stay in that community and have to rub shoulders with low life scum…A known rat did this ..it wasn’t a hit ..no one leaves and comes back to do a premeditated hit?? It was no Dr Sebi conspiracy ?? the guy is a known rat and was asked to leave and returned to do his dirty work…”
According to police and witnesses, the shooting appeared to be planned. The gunman, described as a black male in his 20s, shot Nipsey Hussle and two others outside of the store before running on foot to a nearby car that was waiting for him. According to TMZ, witnesses said the car was possibly driven by a female, but she has not been named.
5. Crowds Gathered at the Scene of the Shooting to Pay Tribute to Nipsey Hussle
The scene of the shooting was flooded by Los Angeles residents who wanted to pay tribute to Nipsey Hussle after his death. Hundreds gathered there Sunday, according to NBC Los Angeles.
On April 1, multiple people were injured during a stampede as crowds continued to gather at the scene.
“It ain’t just Los Angeles. He was an inspiration that was bigger than Los Angeles,” Matthew Talley, an engineer known as Megatron who was among the mourners, told NBC LA. “You see all these people out here? He was really cool. He was a dope individual every time I met him.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called the shooting an “awful tragedy.”
Mark Ridley-Thomas, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who represents the area where Hussle grew up and was shot, said in a statement, “Ermias Asghedom, known to us as the hip-hop artist Nipsey Hussle, was a father, businessman, entertainer, and inspiration to many. Our communities have lost too many young men and bright futures to the scourge of gun violence. For healing to occur, even from this terrible incident, justice must be sought through legal means, and community peace must be found.”
Tributes to Nipsey Hussle poured in on social media from the entertainment and sports industries.