LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The murder of Nipsey Hussle is the most high-profile in a disturbing trend taking place in South Los Angeles – a week-long surge in deadly violence.
In the last week of March, 26 people across South L.A. were shot, according to Los Angeles police Chief Michel Moore. Ten of those people have died.
The suspect in Hussle’s murder is in custody Wednesday on $7 million bail after being captured in Bellflower. But investigations continue for the bulk of homicides that happened before and after Hussle’s murder Sunday in front of his store, The Marathon Clothing.
“Nipsey Hussle represents the enormity of the lives that we have lost,” said Moore, who had been scheduled to meet with Hussle and others on Monday to discuss ways to reduce gang violence.
Moore also recalled getting a message Sunday that three people had been shot in South Los Angeles, and then realizing Hussle was among the victims.
“And then I saw the name Nipsey Hussle, and I looked at that again, and I looked at it again, and it was like, I could not believe it,” Moore said. “It just drove the added violence even that much more severe. So I am devastated with that because this is a voice that was trying to help and was investing in his community.”
The surge in violence this year is a surprise after a year when Los Angeles saw the second fewest number of homicides in more than 50 years. In 2018, homicides were down 8.2 percent, violent crime was down 4.5 percent and property crime was down 1.8 percent. Homicides totaled 259, down from 282 in 2017.
“We had seen a recent increase in shooting violence in South Los Angeles, in [the 77th Street Community Police Station], and particularly impacting African American men,” Moore said at a news conference Tuesday.
The chief urged against a repeat of the stampede that injured 19 people Monday night during a vigil at the site where Hussle was killed.
“I just ask for you to bring peace,” Moore said. “Bring peace and not allow this sacred ground to be the site of any further violence.”