The Nipsey Hussle killing seen through LAPD data

This is how the police recorded the incident

Rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle, 33, was shot at 3:20 p.m. on March 31 in the parking lot outside of his store, The Marathon Clothing at 3420 W. Slauson Ave.  


Surveillance video suggests that the suspect knocked Nipsey down with the first shots he fired, then shot him again once he was on the ground. The death certificate indicates that Nipsey, whose given name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was pronounced dead 35 minutes after the shooting.


We looked into the publicly available LAPD data on the murder to see how the police labeled and categorized the crime. LAPD officers tag most reported crimes in their system with MO Codes, for “modus operandi,” Latin for operating method or style.



Two tags in the data the police initially released have since been updated. One was “0395: Murder/Suicide,” which is inconsistent with other descriptions of the crime. The second was “1822: Stranger.” That also didn’t match other information, as LAPD Chief Michel Moore intimated that Nipsey knew the alleged shooter, Eric Holder, 29, whom law enforcement have since arrested for the murder. Holder pleaded not guilty.


We asked the LAPD about the codes on April 11. They told us that MO codes do regularly get updated as more information is reported. However, the Murder/Suicide code was entered in error. In the preliminary investigation, the suspect was thought to be a stranger, not someone the victim knew. But that has also been changed, the LAPD said.


The publicly available data on Nipsey’s murder has not yet been updated. But we’ll keep checking the database. And we’ll keep checking in with the LAPD.


We are also following the data on the March 10 murder of USC student Victor McElhaney, a 21-year-old music student at the University of Southern California. He was killed not far from campus in what police described as a botched robbery. We found the MO code “0906: Gangs,” yet no reports have suggested gang activity in Victor’s murder. The LAPD was unable to comment on this data discrepancy, citing the ongoing investigation.


Find out more about our data here.

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