Bodyguard Went For The Gun, Busta Rhymes Won't Snitch To Cops
According to police sources, authorities now believe that Israel Ramirez was killed when he grabbed the assailant's firearm outside Brooklyn, NY's Kiss the Cactus Production studio while Busta stood nearby. Claurice Lara, Ramirez's sister, says Bus told her he was present when the shooting took place.
"Busta said he was there when it happened," Lara told The Daily News. "He said he would do everything in his power to get justice."
Busta (born Trevor Smith) spoke to cops when the shooting occurred and told authorities he was inside when the shots were fired. According to The Daily News, sources say he has refused to talk since witnesses have placed him on the scene of the shooting.
"Busta Rhymes' form of justice apparently doesn't mean talking to cops," a police source told the Daily News.
Word is the rapper promised to pay for the funeral bills and said he would try to help provide for Ramirez's three children. He didn't give details on the shooting.
"I think he knew something that he wasn't able to tell me," Lara told The Daily News. "But that's up to him. That's his conscience. If he's a God man, like he swore to me he was on the phone, I think he'll do the right thing."
Cops are still hoping to talk with Tony Yayo, who reportedly came and drove off with the shooter. Yayo has retained an attorney and is tight-lipped on the incident.
Investigators were analyzing video footage taken inside the studio prior to the shooting and were looking to subpoena surveillance tapes that may have filmed the shooting. Police are also hoping fans and hangers-on who taped the video shoot will come forward with key footage.
According to The Daily News, Ramirez didn't carry a weapon. His family said he usually sported a bulletproof vest when working with Busta, but didn't wear one because he didn't expect violence at the video shoot.
Ramirez's funeral is slated to take place in New York's Church of Ascension. Busta is expected to attend.
Ramirez's killing apparently isn't the only incident Busta was involved in this past weekend. Reports are surfacing that Busta and his four bodyguards assaulted a photographer shortly after leaving a Manhattan restaurant this past Friday (February 3). Photographer Justin Baggoo claims the rapper quickly became hostile when he attempted to snap a photo.
"When [Busta] saw me, he rushed to me and one of the bodyguards came around me and grabbed me," Baggoo told The Daily News. "He grabbed me by the hand and they started to check me. [Busta] just came directly to me, and then he grabbed me by the hand and one of the bodyguards took the camera from me and it hit against a glass [wall] on the bank."
Baggoo claims Busta's bodyguard pushed his hand on the wall, causing his $10,000 digital camera to fall and crash on a ledge.
"[Busta] was telling me he did not want his picture to be taken," revealed Baggoo. "I was scared."
Baggoo also contends that one of the security guards twisted the lens and snatched the disk out of the camera before the group walked back to the SUV. The photographer says he then called 911 before one of the bodyguard returned, warning him not to start trouble by alerting the cops. Once he hung up, another guard gave him back the disk. Baggoo later told cops, "I was just to the point where I wanted them to leave me alone. His picture wasn't worth it."
A representative for Busta Rhymes had no comment.