Investigators are seeking to question Trevor “Busta Rhymes” Smith about the fatal shooting of his bodyguard, Israel Ramirez, 29, early Sunday morning.
Officials said that Ramirez accompanied Rhymes to a Greenpoint warehouse in Brooklyn, NY where he was filming the music video for “Touch It (Remix)” with a host of other big-name artists like Missy Elliott, 50 Cent and Mary J. Blige.
According to a CBS New York report, a fight, which began on the ninth floor of the warehouse, spilled onto the street. The New York Daily News said that the fight was between “Rhymes’ producer Swizz Beatz, the new head of the Ruff Ryders label; Yayo, and other members of G-Unit.” Shooting ensued and Ramirez was shot in the chest.
Authorities would like to talk to Yayo, who was believed to have left the scene with the shooter, police said. The G-Unit entourage, of which Yayo is a part, is said to have retained a lawyer and is refusing to speak with police.
“We believe that Busta may have been on the street when the shooting took place, but we don’t know if he was the target,” Raymond Kelly, NYPD commissioner was quoted as saying.
Rhymes said told police that he was in the warehouse at the time of the shooting. However, Ramirez’s sister, Clarice Lara, told the Daily News that the rapper admitted to her that he saw the whole thing.
"Busta said he was there when it happened-he said he would do everything in his power to get justice done," Lara said, following a 20-minute call from the rapper on Monday. The rapper is now refusing to talk to authorities.
As part of their investigation, detectives are reviewing the video that was being filmed in hopes of pinpointing the cause of the shooting, the CBS report said.
Ramirez, who has left behind a wife and three children, was set to celebrate his 30th birthday yesterday. Funeral arrangements have been made for Friday.