UPDATED AT 8PM WITH DETAILS ON SHOOTING: Los Angeles police are reporting one person was killed and three others sustained injuries during a shooting incident at today’s funeral procession for slain rapper/entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle.
The long-procession, which took place after the late rapper’s Staples Center memorial service, saw the streets lined with people paying respects. The shooting occurred around 6:25 p.m. in the area of 103rd and Main streets, the LAPD said in a press release.
EARLIER: With music and personal stories, Nipsey Hussle’s friends and family said goodbye to the slain rapper Thursday during a three-hour memorial service at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
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The arena, which seats 21,000, was filled with celebrities and fans, who were issued free tickets to the service during an online giveaway.
As the memorial got underway, the crowd listened to one speaker after another drive home the message about Hussle’s impact on the South Los Angeles community where he grew up.
“I’ve never met Nipsey, but I’ve heard his music through my daughters, and after his passing, I had the chance to learn more about his transformation and his community work,” President Barack Obama said in a letter read by blogger and media figure Karen Civil.
“While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and only see gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential,” the letter continued. “He saw hope. He saw a community that even through its flaws taught him to always keep going. He chose to invest in that community rather than to ignore it. He set an example for young people to follow and is a legacy worthy of celebration.”
Among those in the audience were Lena Waithe, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Usher, rappers Master P and Big Sean and several NBA stars.
Adding to the emotion of the event, a montage of photos from the slain rapper’s life was shown on-screen while Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in the background.
Hussle’s girlfriend, actress Lauren London, with whom he had a child, wore sunglasses onstage as she told the audience: “I’ve never felt this type of pain before.”
Snoop Dogg spoke as well and shared stories about his friendship with Hussle.
“This is a tough one right here,” Snoop said as he tried to maintain his composure. He then thanked Hussle’s parents and told the rapper’s father, “You picked up another son in me.”
Among those performing were R&B singers Marsha Ambrosius, Anthony Hamilton and Jhené Aiko. Stevie Wonder was the last performer to take the stage, and recalled meeting Hussle.
“We had a good conversation,” Wonder said, before launching into his song “Rocket Love,” which was said to be one of Hussle’s favorites.
Wonder called for increased gun control, saying, “It’s almost like the world is becoming blind.”
The singer added: “It is a heartbreak because it is so unnecessary. It is so painful to know that we don’t have enough people taking a position that says, ‘Listen we must have stronger gun laws.’”
Hussle (real name Ermias Asghedom) was fatally shot on March 31 outside his Marathon Clothing store in South L.A. Two other men were wounded in the attack.
After the service at Staples — which hosted the Michael Jackson memorial a decade ago — the late hip-hop star took one last victory lap, with his funeral procession going more than 25 miles through Los Angeles and Inglewood on its way to a funeral home in the Crenshaw District. Thousands of fans were shown on local television lining the streets in South L.A. as the procession passed by the Marathon store.
Hussle — a former gang member — spearheaded a number of efforts to combat gang violence, and bring jobs to the area.
The city of Los Angeles plans to honor the late rapper, activist and community leader by renaming the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and West Slauson Avenue — near where the rapper was killed — “Nipsey Hussle Square.”
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