LATEST: Rapper Busta Rhymes was standing next to his late bodyguard when he was murdered by a gunman in the early hours of Sunday (05FEB06) morning, according to the victim's widow.

Father-of-three ISRAEL RAMIREZ, 29, was shot once in the chest outside a warehouse where stars including Rhymes, Missy Elliott and G-Unit rappers Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo had gathered to shoot a promo.

The bodyguard's wife Amelin Fernandez claims Rhymes told her he was standing between Ramirez and another member of security when the gunman appeared, aiming his weapon at someone behind them.

Fernandez tells the New York Daily News that Rhymes said the killer told her late husband, "It has nothing to do with you, just get out of the way!" moments before shooting him.

Rhymes - real name TREVOR SMITH - is one of a handful of potential witnesses who left the scene in Brooklyn, New York, before cops arrived, according to the city's police commissioner. Detectives will question him about the incident.