Detectives confirmed the suspect, Eric Holder, 29, was in custody.
Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot on Sunday outside a store he co-owned in South Los Angeles. His death was met with grief and outrage by residents in the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and by people across the music industry.
According to video evidence cited by the police, Mr. Holder reportedly walked up to the rapper and two other men who were with him several times before leaving and returning armed with a handgun. He fired several times before fleeing the scene in a white Chevy Cruze that was driven by an unidentified woman.
“In this case as in every case, it’s the community’s involvement that makes us safer,” said the Los Angeles police chief, Michel Moore, at a news conference on Tuesday.
Mr. Holder was arrested in Bellflower, Calif., shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday after a member of the public called the police. Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies detained Mr. Holder and he was then taken into L.A.P.D. custody.
Mr. Moore did not reveal much information about the motive for the shooting Tuesday, but noted that Nipsey Hussle and Mr. Holder appeared engaged in a personal dispute. Asked if the shooting was related to gang activity, Mr. Moore demurred, stating the motive was “not, to our information, anything related to rivalries between gangs.”
Mr. Moore also said that a stampede at a vigil for the rapper on Monday night, in which more than a dozen people were injured, was the result of a panic stemming from a struggle over a handgun that was pulled out, but not fired.
On Tuesday, in an effort to contain potential violence amid intense interest and heightened tensions, police officers cordoned off access to the memorial outside the store. Throughout the day, fans continued dropping off flowers.
Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was remembered by city officials on Tuesday as a gifted artist and passionate advocate for the South Los Angeles community in which he was raised.
“He was working closely with the city to help save lives and transform lives, even as he was doing that for himself,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the news conference. “He was a tireless advocate for the young people of this city and of this world, to lift them up with the possibility of not being imprisoned by where you come from or past mistakes.”
The rapper was scheduled to meet on Monday afternoon with representatives from Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment company, and police officials to discuss how the community could support efforts to stop gang violence and help children in the area.
His death was felt particularly deeply in Crenshaw, the neighborhood he grew up in and rapped about and where he maintained a regular presence. His fans said he offered hope, advocated self-improvement and financially invested in the community, which has long struggled with violent crime.
He opened a co-working space dedicated to increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and helped to promote black arts and culture.
His debut studio album, “Victory Lap,” was nominated for best rap album at the Grammys last year and debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard chart. He was in a relationship with the actress and model Lauren London and had two children, Kross and Emani.
Mourners have transformed The Marathon Clothing store into a makeshift memorial for the star. He was a regular presence at the store, long after he became famous, and it became a potent symbol for his commitment to redeveloping Crenshaw.
Jose A. Del Real reported from Los Angeles and Niraj Chokshi from New York. Heather Murphy contributed reporting from New York.