Kerry Lathan, the man who was shot next to the late Nipsey Hussle outside of the rapper’s Marathon Clothing store in L.A. last month, has finally broken his silence. Lathan recently spoke with KCAL during a press conference, in which he detailed his last moments with Nipsey and his arrest right after the shooting.
56-year-old Lathan has been on parole for seven months after completing a 25-year prison sentence. To him, Nipsey was a social advocate who was merely trying to give him 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.”
Lathan was shot in the back March 31st, next to Nipsey. According to doctors, the bullet in Lathan’s back will have to stay in his back for fear that he will be permanently confined to a wheelchair if doctors try to remove it. He said, “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.”
Despite his serious injury, the criminal justice system swooped in and arrested Lathan shortly after the shooting for a parole violation. Associating with Nipsey, a former gang member, was a violation of his parole terms. Lathan explained, “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’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 gang activity behind and focused on bettering himself and his community. He said, “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.”
He continued, “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?”