Nipsey Hussle shooting: Man wounded alongside slain rapper is released from custody

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The man wounded in the shooting that killed Nipsey Hussle was released from custody early Saturday morning, authorities said.

Kerry Lathan took a bullet near his spine and was then arrested by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on a parole violation for associating with a known gang member.

The department made the arrest after determining Hussle was a documented gang member. But since his death, the rapper has been categorized by many -- including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti -- as a pillar of the community.

Supporters assert Hussle was a former gang member. Furthermore, that Lathan's contact with Hussle was accidental.

"He wasn't there to propose any business to Nipsey," Lauren Noriega, Lathan's attorney, said. "He had no idea that Nipsey would be there."

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The beloved hip-hop artist's untimely death generated countless tributes from musicians, elected officials and professional athletes.

Lathan said it was by chance he was in proximity to the rapper when the gunman rolled up.

The Department of Corrections announced Thursday it will drop the new allegations. Lathan was released from the Men's Central Jail at 3:18 a.m. Saturday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

He served 25 years for a gang murder in 1994 and was released seven months ago.

He suffered a stroke in prison and still has a bullet in his back from the shooting at Hussle's The Marathon store.

Noriega said Lathan immediately started crying when he heard the news that he would be freed from custody.

"He's very excited to get back to his family," Noriega said.
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