Kerry Lathan, one of two men who were shot alongside Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles last month, hosted a press conference this week, during which he spoke out about the extent of the injuries he's suffered, as well as opened up about the late rapper's final moments.
Speaking with ABC7, he explained how in the aftermath of the shooting, which took the 33-year-old rapper and entrepreneur's life, his recovery process has been made that much more difficult due to his arrest that followed. As previously reported, the 56-year-old shooting survivor was arrested for a parole violation due to his interaction with Nipsey outside of the Marathon Clothing store. Officers took Lathan into custody for "fraternizing with known felons or gang members." He was later released.
During a press conference on Wednesday (April 24), Lathan explained how according to his doctors, the bullet that hit him will have to stay wedged in his back due to a fear that its removal could potentially confine him to a wheelchair.
"I have a bullet in my back. Fragment in it broke off near my spine," he stated. "They say if we take it out, there's a possibility you could be paralyzed."
Elsewhere during the interview, he explained how he viewed Nipsey as a social advocate who was merely trying to give him some clothes at the time of the tragic accident. Lathan, who has been on parole for seven months after completing a 25-year prison sentence, claimed that he thought of Nipsey as more of a celebrity than a gang member like police claimed.
"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… 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."
He also expressed how Nipsey experienced tremendous growth throughout his life and career, speaking fondly on the late rapper's legacy.
"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 explained. "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, also spoke during the press conference, explaining how her client's recent arrest speaks to a pressing need for criminal justice reform, specifically as it pertains to parole.
"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," she added.
Lathan also expressed how since his release, the parole board has left him without proper housing and medical treatment. He added, "After you serve your time and you learn better and you do better you're still jeered at, and poked at that's him that's him, that's him right there."
As previously reported, Eric Holder, the man suspected of fatally shooting Nipsey on March 31, is facing one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
See Kerry Lathan break his silence on surviving the shooting incident that took Nipsey Hussle's life in full below.