Several people were injured Monday night when some 300 who’d gathered outside Nipsey Hussle’s clothing store in South Los Angeles to pay their respects to the slain rapper suddenly stampeded from the area, authorities said. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department, Meghan Aguilar, told reporters there was “mass panic and chaos.” There was no initial word on what set it off.
CBS Los Angeles reports the peaceful vigil turned chaotic around 8:10 p.m. when people scattered across the packed parking lot.
As officers were still clearing the scene, police named a suspect late Monday:
Video on social media showed people running into each other and people being carried away.
This video from Instagram user @hecks237 shows the crowd attentively listening to a speaker when the sound of glass shattering is suddenly heard and panic ensues. Warning: Some language is graphic.
Some witnesses told CBS L.A. a fight broke out between two groups. It was unclear if that was what caused the stampede.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said 19 people were taken to hospitals, at least two in critical condition. One was hit by a vehicle, the other a deep puncture wound. Most of those hurt had what the department called “trample injuries” that were “sustained when the crowd rushed out.”
Earlier reports of shots fired and word from the LAPD of at least six people stabbed proved incorrect.
Several people in the crowd become rowdy as police attempted to clear the area, throwing candles and other items at officers, Aguilar said, adding that at least one officer was hurt and at least one person was detained.
Mourners had gathered on and off at Marathon Clothing since the Grammy-nominated rapper and community activist was gunned down in front of the store Sunday afternoon.
Fans brought candles, flowers, posters and items of clothing to pay their respects to the 33-year-old rapper. Many of the candles were crushed in the later rush from the scene.
Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was shot to death in front of Marathon Clothing, the store he founded in 2017. Two other men were hit in the shooting but their wounds weren’t considered life-threatening.
An autopsy performed Monday determined Asghedom was shot in the head and torso, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. His death was ruled a homicide, officials said.
The Grammy-nominated rapper was being remembered not just for his music but for his deep community involvement and activism.