A witness called in the trial of Eric Holder, who stands accused of shooting and killing Nipsey Hussle, recalled the legendary rapper’s last words in court on Monday. The witness, Shermi Villanueva, 47, was also injured in the shooting, three years ago in a Los Angeles parking lot.
“’He shot me. He shot me,’” Villanueva said, remembering Hussle’s final words after being shot. “I heard it, and then I saw Nipsey fall. When I looked and see Nipsey, I started to run.”
In addition to Hussle and Villanueva, the witness’ uncle, Kerry Lathan, had also by stuck by a bullet.
“[My Uncle] was like, ‘I’m shot also.’ We were paying attention to Nipsey, and he was like, ‘I’m shot also,’” Villanueva continued. “I told him, ‘Don’t move,’ because he said he was shot in his back, and it was possible he could have a spinal injury.”
Villanueva also stated that he didn’t hear Holder say anything prior to shooting Hussle, which would lend credence to the prosecution’s argument that the shooting was a pre-meditated attack rather than a “heat of the moment” decision, as the defense has claimed.
Police have reported that Holder was upset with Hussle after the late rapper accused him of being a snitch.
“Respect is everything. Reputation is everything. It’s a different play on respect than you’re used to,” Deputy District Attorney John McKinney explained to the court in the prosecution’s opening statement. “It’s kind of a perverse definition of respect … a lot of blood has been shed, not only in that gang, but in gangs across the county, over this concept of respect.”
Holder faces one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. If convicted, Holder could be looking at life in prison.
Check out footage from inside the courtroom below from ABC7.