Kerry Lathan and Shermi Cervabta Villanueva have been identified as the two men who were wounded in the same attack that killed rapper Nipsey Hussle on Sunday afternoon.
Per TMZ, Lathan was arrested by authorities five days after the shooting, for associating with a known gang member (Hussle) and therefore violating his parole. TMZ further notes that Lathan was in a wheelchair at the time of his arrest, due to injuries from the shooting.
Lathan and Villanueva were first identified by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office on April 4, at the same time that Eric Holder, AKA “Shitty Cuz,” was charged in the death of Hussle. Holder is accused of the attempted murders Lathan and Villanueva. Holder has pleaded not guilty in the case. Holder’s defense attorney is Christopher Darden, who was a prosecutor during O.J. Simpson’s trial for murder.
The original statement by the LAPD reads,
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
Here’s what you need to know:
Villanueva Was Shot During a Bank Robbery in 1992
Villanueva was shot during a bank robbery in Torrance, Californi, in November 1992 when he was 18 years old, reported the Los Angeles Times. He was wounded by a security guard, who was an off-duty LAPD officer, at the Security Pacific bank as he and two other “hooded gunmen” allegedly attempted to commit a robbery. The LA Times piece notes that the other two men fled the scene. Villanueva was later charged with suspicion of armed robbery. According to his Facebook page, Villanueva graduated from Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles.
Nipsey Hussle Was Shot Six Times & Killed on Sunday Afternoon
Hussle was shot and killed in the parking lot outside of his store, Marathon Clothing, located in Hyde Park on West Slauson Avenue on Sunday afternoon, at approximately 3:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Chris Martinez said one of the other men in the incident was being treated at a nearby hospital, and the third man declined treatment. No other details of their identities were released.
Shitty Cuz & Nipsey Hussle Were Both in the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips
Holder, who goes by “Shitty Cuz”, is a member of the Crips, though it’s unclear if he was a member at the same time Hussle was an active member. The above photo, posted by Cuz on his Facebook, shows his Crips tattoo.
Similarly, an interview with VLAD TV in 2014 (available below), Hussle explained his decision to join the Crips. He explained how it was important to carry the “legacy” of his community up and out of the streets and to the “corporate level,” clarifying that he didn’t “necessarily [mean] gang-banging,” but more the culture and spirit and tradition of his area.
A number of unverified accounts have offered up the following narrative (which has not been confirmed by the LAPD) about what took place between Holder and Hussle on Sunday: Holder went into Hussle’s store, and Hussle told him to leave because he was a “snitch,” and Holder then became angry and felt “disrespected,” thus triggering the violence. Again, this has not been confirmed by the police force, but rather is a theory floating around on Twitter from users who claim to be familiar with the situation .
Though that theory has not been verified, this much was confirmed by LA investigative reporter Richard Winton, on Monday evening: “What is known so far in
@NipseyHussle killing Shooter got close before opening fire outside Marathon. Shooter was known to Nipsey. Shooter is believed to have a gang affiliation but this isn’t a rival. The dispute is personal in nature behind the shooting.”