On Wednesday, Nipsey Hussle’s Brother,Samiel Asghedom recounted his brother’s final moments to The LATimes. He says he is haunted most by the way the shooting happened.
Police say Nip, born Ermias Asghedom, was gunned down by Holder, a 29-year-old aspiring rapper. Video from a nearby security camera captured the brazen attack, which occurred in broad daylight. Footage has been circulating on social media. What it doesn’t show is Holder talking to Nip a few minutes earlier.
Samiel jumped into his car parked outside his grandmother’s house. He ignored the red lights as he raced down Slauson Avenue — the South Los Angeles street that he and Nip were working to uplift. He arrived at the Marathon Clothing store precious minutes after a gunman fired multiple rounds into Nip, but before the paramedics pulled up. The time when life can precariously slip into death.
Blood stained the front of his brother’s shirt and a hole marked where a bullet entered his leg.
There’s no reason for him to still be breathing, Samiel thought.
But Nip was. Air rushed in and out of his nose — strong and loud.
Growing up in turf claimed by the Rollin’ 60s Crips gang, Samiel had seen death up close. Bullets, when they hit their target in the chest like the ones that hit Nip, were cruel and quick.
He’s meant to be alive, Samiel thought.
Samiel hushed the crowd that had formed around his brother. Nip laid on his back with his head tilted to the side.
The 911 operator told him what to do. Samiel found the hard, flat spot on his brother’s chest, clasped his hands together and pushed forcibly down, hard, to keep Nip breathing.
“1, 2, 3, 4.”
When the 911 operator reached 20, the wail of an ambulance’s siren filled the air around the strip mall — a place the brothers said they had been arrested many times before after the sound of different sirens.
Paramedics inserted a tube down Nipsey’s throat, stuck an IV in his arm and then lifted him off the pavement onto a waiting stretcher.
A chilling scream erupted from somewhere in the crowd of those who had gathered to watch. A bullet had pierced the back of Nipsey’s head.
For the first time, Samiel saw the gunshot wound on the back of his brother’s head. He started praying.
The Marathon Clothing store hired mostly felons because they often have a hard time finding work with a criminal record. Felons also are prohibited from carrying guns.
“Because of that, the man was able to shoot my brother, start running, realize nobody out there had a gun, stop, turn back around, walk up, shoot my brother two more times, start to run, realize nobody had a gun, nobody was responding, ran back up and shot my brother three more times, shoot him in the head and kicked him in the head and then ran off,” Samiel dissected.
“If somebody would’ve been there — if I would’ve been there — I would’ve shot back,” he said. “I just wish I would’ve been there.”
Nip is sporadic,” Samiel told the LATimes. “Nip gonna pull up and hop up out of the Jordan Downs projects, Nickerson Gardens, in any ‘hood in L.A., Compton, Watts — solo with $150,000 of jewelry on his neck and [an] $80,000 Rolex with no security. That’s why the people loved him.”
Samiel has been trying to come to terms with what happened, but it’s hard to know who to trust. His brother’s death feels like an “execution.”
He wonders if the attack was a hit job or if Holder was simply jealous.
“It doesn’t make sense that somebody from the area, that just snuck up, and just talked to him and shook his hand minutes before,” Samiel said. “It’s mind-boggling.”