By Eric Licas
The Orange County Register
LOS ANGELES — What began as a peaceful gathering in memory of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles’s Hyde Park neighborhood ended in a stampede of panicked mourners that left several people injured on Monday, April 1. And as events unfolded quickly, Los Angeles police late Monday named a suspect in Sunday’s killing of Hussle. The LAPD was looking for Eric Holder, 29, of Los Angeles, in the death.
By about 10 p.m., 19 patients had been transported to hospitals with two in critical condition, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. One of those critically hurt had been struck by a vehicle, the other had a penetrating traumatic injury but its cause was not known.
She said 15 of those transported had minor injuries, several consistent with being trampled in the incident that started about 8:10 p.m. Besides the two critically hurt, two more were seriously hurt.
Stewart said firefighter/paramedic crews responded on a report of a possible shooting or stabbing and initially found one person critically injured. There was no evidence any of the patients had been struck by gunfire.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said in a tweet that an informal initial report from the Fire Department said 12 people were treated at the scene. “Many (were) treated on scene for sprained ankles,” he added.
It wasn’t immediately known what started the disturbance at the memorial, which had been proceeding peacefully with hundreds of people since Hussle was fatally shot on Sunday afternoon.
The LAPD was telling people to leave the area near the intersection of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard.
LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein told KCAL9 that police were on a modified tactical alert following the stampede.
CBS Los Angeles reported police were investigating if those hurt were stabbed, or if they were hit by a vehicle or vehicles, or if they were hurt in the stampede or by another cause. Reporters on the scene noted there was a lot of broken glass from candles, flower holders and other objects and that the glass could have contributed to the injuries.
The LAPD tweeted later that “reports of shots fired at the vigil do not appear to be accurate.”
City News Service contributed to this story.
Copyright The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)