The man who was shot alongside Nipsey Hussle is expected to be released from custody soon after he was arrested on a possible parole violation for associating with the late rapper.
Kerry Lathan, 56, had been released from prison less than a year ago and was at the Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles to shop when the shooting took place on March 31.
“The gunman turned around the car and shot me, then shot Nipsey, and then shot my nephew,” Lathan told VladTV in a jailhouse interview prior to the news that the case against him would be dismissed. “I didn't know what was going on; I fell on my stomach. All I could see was people's feet. I couldn't see nothing else.”
He said the shooting took place in “less than three minutes” and he was then taken to the hospital. His wounds put him in a wheelchair.
But just days after the shooting, adding insult to injury, Lathan was arrested on a possible parole violation for having contact with a known gang member: Nipsey himself.
Nipsey was once affiliated with the Rollin 60’s Neighborhood Crips.
"When I get [to Men's Central Jail], they say, 'You're here for [a] parole violation,'” Lathan said. “I said, 'For what?' 'Well, coming into contact with a known gang member.' I said, 'Man, I didn't come into contact with nobody.’”
Lathan said he didn't know Nipsey well, but when Lathan was released from prison seven months ago after serving 24 years, the Grammy-nominated rapper gave him a ton of clothes from the Marathon Clothing to help him get on his feet.
Lathan said he only knew Nipsey through a mutual friend. "[Nipsey] was a child. He was probably 8 years old or 7 when I got locked up," Lathan said. "I took a selfie with him because that's a celebrity. Everyone was taking pictures with him."
On the day they were shot, Lathan said he was visiting the store to shop for a funeral.
Lauren Noriega, an attorney who represents Lathan, said Lathan faced a violation for just “being at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“Much like Nipsey Hussle, Mr. Lathan was a reformed gang member who was determined to make a change in his community,” Noriega told HuffPost.
The Los Angeles Police Department had praised Nipsey after his death for all the work he had done in the community. He was scheduled to have a meeting with the department on gang violence one day after he was killed.
"I just did 25 years to life," Lathan said. "Y'all release me, then want to throw me back in jail for coming into contact with a gang member? Who's really a voice and piece of the public? Which one is it? They have to make heads and tails of what's going on."
The case against Lathan has since been dropped and he is expected to be released soon.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with medical fees for Lathan. It has raised more than $17,000.