Shooting at rapper Nipsey Hussle was planned, jury told as murder trial begins

Rapper Nipsey Hussle was premeditatedly gunned down outside his clothing store by a man upset by the snitches discussion, the jury has been told at the start of the long-delayed murder trial.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said in his opening statement that there was “no doubt” Eric R Holder knew in advance that he would kill the Grammy-winning rapper.

The 33 year old father of two and South Los Angeles local was shot and killed on March 31, 2019minutes after tweeting, “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”

The prosecutor described the sequence of events, including talk of “snitching,” before Hussle was killed in a hail of at least 10 bullets near where both men grew up and helped revitalize the rapper.

Two others were injured in the shooting.

Mr. McKinney told the jury gathered in a courtroom in downtown Los Angeles that, in addition to shooting Hussle at least 10 times, Mr. Holder kicked the rapper in the head before he fled.

“He was clearly thinking about what he was going to do before he did it,” he said.

Mr Holder, 32, is facing one count of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder.

Mr. McKinney said that Mr. Holder and Hussle knew each other because they had grown up in the same neighborhood where they were members of the same gang, the Rollin’ 60s.

Eric R Holder, 32, is charged with one count of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. Frederick M. Brown/Daily via AP

Shooting resulted from ‘snitch’ conversation, prosecutor says

Mr. McKinney opened by showing the jurors footage of the shooting and of Mr. Holder fleeing the scene wearing a red shirt and bandana while carrying a semi-automatic pistol and revolver.

After a two-day manhunt, Mr. Holder was arrested and two months later he was indicted by a grand jury.

Mr McKinney said the shooting stemmed from hearing from Hussle that Mr Holder was a snitch and that he needed to “clarify that”.

Before the shooting, he said the rapper and his two friends had a “cool chat” with Mr. Holder.

He said Hussle visited the store without any security.

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Police speak to media at the scene of Nipsey Hussel’s fatal shooting.

A key witness expected to testify is Bryannita Nicholson, the woman McKinney says unknowingly served as the driver of Mr Holder’s escape.

Mr. Holder and Nicholson had stopped to get food near Hussle’s clothing store, which led to the brief conversation, which, according to Mr. McKinney, “led Eric Holder to return to the parking lot and kill Nipsey Hussle”.

McKinney said Mr Holder told Nicholson after the shooting, “Drive before I hit you.”

Defense says attack was ‘heated passion’

Multiple eyewitnesses who knew both Mr Holder and Hussle told police and the jurors that Mr Holder walked up to Hussle and shot him.

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