HYDE PARK (CBSLA) – More than a dozen people were injured Monday night when a crowd of hundreds of mourners who amassed in South Los Angeles to pay their respects to slain rapper Nipsey Hussle stampeded from the area, police say.
The peaceful vigil turned chaotic around 8:10 p.m. near the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue where people scattered across the packed parking lot. Large crowds of mourners had gathered in front of The Marathon Clothing store off and on since the Grammy-nominated rapper and community activist was shot and killed Sunday afternoon.
At least two people, including one who was struck by a vehicle, were critically injured and taken to an area hospital, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. "The majority of injuries were related to 'trample injuries' sustained when the crowd rushed out," fire officials said in a statement.
As many as 15 people sustained non-life threatening injuries, LAFD said.
Some witnesses told KCAL9's Rachel Kim that a fight between two groups broke out. It is unclear if the fight caused the stampede. Police said no gunshot victims had been located, despite earlier reports of a shooting.
Social media video from the scene showed droves of people running into each other.
Another clip showed two people being carried from the area.
SKY9 was over the scene as fans brought candles, flowers, posters and items of clothing to pay their respects to the 33-year-old rapper before the panic erupted.
Officers attempted to clear the area surrounding the memorial immediately following the disturbance, but several people became rowdy, throwing candles and other items at police, according to KCAL9's Stu Mundel.
Some from the crowd remained gathered hours after the stampede.
Police were on a modified tactical alert following the stampede, according to Los Angeles police.
Hussle, whose real name is Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was fatally shot around 3:20 p.m. Sunday in the 3400 block of West Slauson Avenue, in front of the store he founded in 2017. Two other men were wounded in the shooting.
An autopsy performed Monday determined Asghedom was shot in the head and torso, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. The manner of death was ruled a homicide, officials said.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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