On Monday (June 20), a witness in the murder trial of Eric Holder, Nipsey Hussle’s alleged killer, revealed the late rap star’s final words before he died while testifying.
According to the Associated Press, 47-year-old Shermi Villanueva, who was also injured during the March 2019 shooting that killed Hussle, says the philanthropist and entrepreneur acknowledged Holder shot him before he fell to the ground.
“’He shot me. He shot me,’” Villanueva said of Hussle’s last words. “I heard it, and then I saw Nipsey fall. When I looked and see Nipsey, I started to run.”
Additionally, Villanueva testified that he didn’t hear Holder say anything prior to shooting Hussle, which is contrary to Holder’s defense of acting in the “heat of the moment.” It also aligns with the prosecution’s theory that the shooting was premeditated.
“[My Uncle] was like, ‘I’m shot also.’ We were paying attention to Nipsey, and he was like, ‘I’m shot also.’ 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 continued in describing the scene.
Prosecutors alleged that Holder’s shooting was planned out in advance during opening statements of the trial. Holder’s getaway driver, Bryannita Nicholson, also testified and detailed the events that happened before and after the shooting.
Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed on March 31, 2019 in the parking lot of his Maraton Clothing Store after a verbal exchange with Holder. He is accused of returning to the scene and murdering the rapper after feeling disrespected during their prior exchange.
Holder faces a count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. He faces life in prison, if convicted.