Kerry Lathan, the man who was shot alongside the late Nipsey Hussle outside of the rapper's Marathon Clothing store in Los Angels last month, is breaking his silence. Lathan recently spoke to KCAL about his last moments with Nip and his subsequent arrest for a parole violation.
Lathan was reportedly shot in the back on Mar. 31. According to doctors, the bullet will have to stay wedged in his back. They fear that he will be permanently confined to a wheelchair if they try to remove it.
"I have a bullet in my back. Fragment in it broke off near my spine. They say if we take it out, there’s a possibility you could be paralyzed," Lathan said.
Instead of focusing on his recovery, however, Lathan has been fighting the legal system. He was arrested shortly after shooting for a parole violation. The 56-year-old has been on parole for seven months after completing a 25-year prison sentence. Associating with Nipsey, a former gang member, was a violation of his parole terms.
Lathan said he considered the rapper a social advocate who was just trying to give him some clothes on the day of the shooting. "He told me that he would have the shirt that I needed next week and I said okay," he recalled. "And as I turned it was all bad."
He continued: "I didn’t have no idea of any of that. I know they said [Hussle] was a Rolling 60s. That’s not what he is today,” he explained. “He’s a celebrity. I took a picture with a celebrity. I met him once, took a selfie."
Lathan remembers Nipsey as a person who left the gang activity behind and focused on doing better for himself and his community. "If you say a person has made a change or a metamorphosis, you can’t take an inchworm, then turn it into a butterfly, and put him back into an inchworm. That’s what Nipsey did,” Lathan later said during a press conference on Wednesday (April 24). "He transformed around there and tried to make money off his rap albums to help the community, to give back when there was no one giving back. So how can you put a halo and then put horns?"
Lathan's attorney, Lauren Noreiga told KCAL that her client's recent arrest is a testimony to the legal system's flaws. "The law is written in a way where really reformed and rehabilitated gang members have no opportunity to be seen as a reformed and rehabilitated in the eyes of the law," Noreiga added.
As previously reported, Nipsey Hussle died of multiple gunshot wounds on Mar. 31. Eric Holder, the suspected shooter, has since been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.