LOS ANGELES — A former gal pal of Nipsey Hussle’s accused killer testified Monday that she saw the murder suspect loading bullets into a gun shortly before the beloved rapper was killed in front of his South Los Angeles store.
Bryannita Nicholson, who admitted on the stand that she had been intimate with the shooter, Eric Holder, also testified she heard her former fling say “Did you say I snitched,” before he stormed away from Hussle outside his Marathon Clothing store on March 31, 2019.
Nicholson and Holder, 32, were in the area that day after she drove him to get some food from a restaurant located in the same shopping center as Hussle’s store. While doing so, they saw the rapper.
During her testimony at Los Angeles Superior Court, Nicholson said she was excited to see Hussle, but Holder jumped out of her car first to talk to the 33-year-old rapper.
“I saw him as soon as I turned into the parking lot and I said, ‘Oh, there goes Nipsey! He’s fine! … Eric (Holder) was not wearing a shirt when he got out and he went to Nipsey.”
Nicholson said she heard Holder say to Hussle in a loud voice, “Did you say I snitched,” before walking away from the rapper and two other men.
When asked by Senior Deputy District Attorney John McKinney if she sensed a fight was brewing, Nicholson said, “No, it didn’t occur to me at all.”
Nicholson said she posed for a photo with Hussle while Holder picked up his food.
When they both got back inside the car, Holder told Nicholson to drive around the block twice, she testified.
The second time she passed by the Marathon store parking lot, Nicholson said that’s when she saw Holder loading his weapons.
“Once we came around the block, that’s when I seen (sic) him put bullets into the automatic gun,” Nicholson said. “It was the black one. .. When he was doing it, I said, ‘What are you doing?! You aren’t going to shoot that out my car!’ Then he put it away.”
Nicholson said Holder then instructed her to turn onto Crenshaw Boulevard and park in an alleyway. She said Holder then took two more bites of his chili cheese fries before he jumped out and told her to wait in the car.
Nicholson said Holder didn’t seem upset as he walked down the alleyway.
“I just thought he was going to get a shirt or something,” from Hussle’s store, she said.
A few minutes later, Nicholson said she heard gunshots. She said she was debating whether to leave the area but was worried that Holder was hurt.
When Holder got back to her car, Nicholson said she saw he was carrying two guns — a black semi-automatic weapon and chrome revolver on him.
She said Holder yelled at her to drive away from the alleyway and saw him put the weapons into a bag.
“I wasn’t even thinking that he would use it,” Nicholson said, referring to the firearms.
Nicholson testified that she and Holder had been intimate, but she only considered him “a homeboy,” who she was still getting to know after meeting a month earlier.
Nicholson said she didn’t realize Holder might’ve been involved with the shooting until after he spent the night and saw news reports of Hussle’s death.
“I asked him about it again … he didn’t say too much and he went to the balcony, smoked marijuana, and he went to sleep. That was it,” Nicholson said.
Nicholson will take the stand again on Tuesday.
In his opening statement, McKinney said Hussle was in front of his store, Marathon Clothing, when Holder walked up and opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon in his left hand and a revolver in his right.
It was “a very personal attack,” McKinney told the jury.
Public Defender Aaron Jansen admitted in his opening statement that Holder did shoot Hussle, but denied that it was premeditated. Hussle, he said, “made an accusation against Mr. Holder that he was a snitch,” and then shot the rapper in the heat of passion.