A vigil for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle resulted in chaos Monday night, with authorities reporting two critical injuries and several other less serious injuries after a stabbing and stampede broke out.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department told USA Today that one person was stabbed and another six people sustained injuries from unknown causes. A reporter for the newspaper witnessed one male stabbing victim lying on the ground, as well as a woman who also appeared to have been stabbed.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department told the paper that at least 19 injured people, two in critical condition, were transported by first responders.
Although the LAFD initially reported a shooting call that came in around 8:14 p.m. PT, police later said there was no evidence of shots fired. LAFD spokesperson Margaret Stewart added that there was no evidence of gunshot wounds, and that the majority of the injuries were from the crowd trampling people. At least one injury was caused by a car hitting a pedestrian.
A reporter for ABC7 tweeted that a "HUGE stampede of people rushed out of the memorial area," which was in front of Hussle's The Marathon Clothing store in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles. "People thought they heard something break or a loud noise and started running."
As police began attempting to "restore order" and asked those gathered to leave, tensions grew between them and the vigil attendees, who reportedly threw bottles at police in anger and frustration.
"Our men and women are on scene and making every effort to protect everyone in attendance at the Nipsey Hussle vigil," the LAPD tweeted Monday night. "Reports of shots fired at the vigil do not appear to be accurate. We do have injured in the chaos and are attempting to restore order."
A following tweet added: "We understand the community is mourning and we feel your loss. We are asking for everyone to follow the officers directions and disperse from the immediate area."
Shortly following the vigil, police named 29-year-old Eric Holder as the suspect in the attack against Hussle, real name Ermias Asghedom, as well as the two other men who were shot and injured. Police said that on Sunday afternoon, the suspect fired "numerous" gunshots at the men, who were struck and fell to the ground.
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 pic.twitter.com/3pX4fbezDs— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) April 2, 2019
The suspect then ran through an adjacent alley to a waiting 2016 Chevy Cruze and fled the scene. The vehicle was driven by an "unidentified female."0comments
Police said two victims were transported to local hospitals and one refused medical treatment at the scene. Hussle died as a result of the gunshot wounds he sustained.
Police are urging anyone with information on Holder to call South Bureau Homicide Detectives at 323-786-5100. Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or lacrimestoppers.org.