A wake for the slain
bodyguard of rap superstar Busta Rhymes was held yesterday (Feb. 9) in New York.
Israel Ramirez, 29, to rest at the Century Funeral Home, where hundreds of family
and friends turned out.
Ramirez was shot and killed as he shielded Busta Rhymes during an altercation
between a group of men during a video shoot for the rapper's "Touch It
500 people were on the set in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, N.Y., authorities
are reportedly being hindered in their investigation by the various rappers
witnesses have placed at the scene of the crime.
Police hope to
get a break in the case this week when they interview a bodyguard who was at
the scene of the crime. Police were waiting until Ramirez was laid to rest before
talking to the bodyguard.
Busta Rhymes is
now drawing criticism for skipping the wake and for his delay in contacting
authorities, who are seeking to re-interview him about the shooting on his video
set that left Ramirez dead.
The rapper initially
told police he was inside the studio with other Hip-Hop artists and celebrities
when the shooting took place. But police believe Busta Rhymes was feet away
from Ramirez when he was shot.
members said the rapper admitted to witnessing the murder during a call he placed
to express his condolences to the family.
While Busta Rhymes reportedly offered to pay for funeral expenses, he did not attend the wake, where police
snipers were stationed nearby on rooftops. His absence at the wake drew the
wrath of Ramirez' family members.
believe an argument between Ruff Ryders President Swizz Beatz and Tony Yayo
and G-Unit members spilled out onto the street, where the altercation took place.
On Monday (Feb.
6), Busta Rhymes' manager and Violator CEO Chris Lighty posted a statement on
"I have to
hope that my children or their children will one day know Hip-Hop without the
violence," Lighty wrote. "I am sorry and send out my regards to the
family of Israel Ramirez. I don't know what happened as I wasn't on the scene,
so I won't comment. But it is a sad day when violence erupts and takes anyone's
to come together as a people and try to rise above the conflicts we have on
the streets of our neighborhoods," Lighty continued. "I am sure that
everyone has a comment and the press will blame Hip-Hop and rappers but none
of that is the case. Hip-Hop gave the opportunity for all these great stars
to come together for this."
Busta Rhymes was simply trying to make peace on the street when the altercation
After the argument
escalated, a man believed to be an associate of Tony Yayo's allegedly fired
at least 8 shots, striking Ramirez once and killing him.
Ramirez attempted to grab the gun as the trigger man opened fire near Busta
Yayo, of Queens,
N.Y., released his major label debut Thoughts Of A Predict Felon in Aug.
2005. The album has sold almost 500,000 copies, powered by the hit single "So
Seductive," featuring 50 Cent.
that police believe the gunman is an associate of Tony Yayo's from Brooklyn.
Authorities believe the gunman escaped in a car with the rapper, who has refused
to speak to police via his lawyer, Scott Leemon.
According to reports,
authorities considered checking to see if the rapper violated his probation
in order to detain and question him but later ruled out the option.