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‘This shit kicked the air out of Los Angeles.’ Rapper, activist, entrepreneur, Nipsey Hussle shot and killed

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At 33, Nipsey Hussle, whose birth name is Ermias Ashgedom, was one of the last frontiersmen who worked to sustain a viable and visible Black Los Angeles community. He juggled several ventures in his beloved Crenshaw District. On Sunday, the same place he worked hard to empower is where he was gunned down.

Mr. Ashgedom and two others were shot in front of his clothing store, Marathon, located at 3420 Slauson Avenue, just west of Crenshaw Avenue. While the others survived and said to be in critical condition, Mr. Ashgedom was pronounced dead.

Circulating footage show that Mr. Ashgedom was administered medical treatment in the parking lot. Paramedics turned his unresponsive body to the left as people looked on screamed. An Ark Republic reporter saw the footage, but we chose not to show that type of carnage on the platform.

Unconfirmed information has been given to Ark Republic alleging that Mr. Ashgedom knew the shooter and was approached by the gunman after his security left the store.

As of press time, a suspect has not been apprehended. However, Los Angeles Police Department have two descriptions of the gunman: black and male.

For the Black community, there has been reports of multiple stoppings of men by police officers. “The streets are hot,” described a Black female Angeleno. “Police are everywhere.”

Although the Crenshaw District area has a history of gun violence caused by gangs, several Ark Republic sources emphasized that this was not a gang-related incident.

“Banging would’ve kicked off so cold out here if someone from a gang did this,” said Matito Ki’Abayomi, an Ark Republic contributor who lives blocks from the shooting.

Ki’Abayomi explains that if gang issues were the cause of Hussle’s untimely death, immediately following the incident some form of retribution would have been carried out; and in some cases, explicitly. “That’s not the code of the streets . . . to kill someone helping the people and telling Black folk to stay [in their communities] and improve their communities rather than leave. Man, Nipsey Hussle was accessible. You’d see him all through here . . . at the grocery store, or where ever. He was a hero.”

At the location of the shooting, people gathered around. While police investigated the crime scene, onlookers began to talk about the impact Mr. Ashgedom had on local residents.

“He helped my brother get a job . . . he was a good dude,” said one woman in the crowd.

“It feels like this shit kicked the air out of Los Angeles,” said Ki’Abayomi.

Hussle’s journey to being an organizer started with him turning the money made from rapping and street enterprises, into businesses and academies that empowered residents in Crenshaw District, a community in which he community he grew up. Along with Marathon story, Mr. Ashgedom owned co-work space, Vector90. It was designed to help local Black and Latino entrepreneurs who could not afford office space to grow.

This week, he was scheduled to meet with LAPD Police Chief Michael Moore to discuss the spike in gun violence in the city.

Hussle is survived by a daughter and son. His son is with actress Lauren London who was engaged to Mr. Ashgedom. Just days ago the couple was featured in GQ magazine.

No suspects have been identified at this time.

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