Nipsey Hussle, the Grammy-nominated West Coast rapper known for his community outreach in South Los Angeles, was shot and killed outside his clothing store on Sunday, the city's mayor confirmed. He was 33.
Police said two others were shot in the parking lot outside the Marathon Clothing store at 3:25 p.m. local time. Their wounds didn't appear to be life-threatening.
"Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy. L.A. is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence," Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted late Sunday.
Lt. Chris Ramirez of the Los Angeles Police Department said a black male suspect was at large. Ramirez said the shooting scene would be on lockdown as the investigation continues, and there was no immediate word on a motive.
The rapper, born Ermias Asghedom, was widely known for his grind as an independent artist and revered for his work in the community. He began pushing out mixtapes in 2005, and infamously sold physical copies of his 2013 mixtape "Crenshaw" for $100 a piece. He once said Jay Z was so inspired by the move that he purchased 100 copies of the tape.
Earlier this year, his long-awaited debut studio album, "Victory Lap," earned a Grammy nod for best rap album. It recalled epic tales of surviving street life: fighting off would-be robbers and digging up $100,000 his brother stashed in his mother's backyard. The album featured artists like Kendrick Lamar, CeeLo Green, Diddy and The Dream.
Outside the recording booth, Nipsey Hussle found success as an entrepreneur in his hometown. Last year, he opened a STEM center and co-working space called Vector 90 where young people could attend classes. He hoped to help bridge the gap between inner-city kids and Silicon Valley.
"In our culture, there's a narrative that says, 'Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,'" he told The Los Angeles Times. "And that's cool but there should be something that says, 'Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg.' I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that's waving that flag."
Tributes from celebrities flooded social media shortly after news of his passing broke.
"My whole energy is just at a low right now hearing this. We just linked for the first time in years and said we were gonna do a new song this summer cause it had been too long," Drake wrote on Instagram. "You were having the best run and I was so happy watching from distance fam nobody ever talks down on your name you were a real one to your people and to the rest of us."
He began dating actress Lauren London in 2013. Three years later, she gave birth to their son, Kross Asghedom. London has not spoken publicly about the shooting as of late Sunday.
Peter Martinez contributed to this report.
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