Hip-hop star Busta Rhymes' bodyguard was shot dead on the celebrity-packed set of a music video in the early hours of yesterday (05FEB06) morning.

ISRAEL RAMIREZ, 29, was shot once in the chest as he stood outside a Brooklyn, New York, warehouse where stars including Rhymes, 50 CENT, Mary J Blige, Missy Elliott and G-Unit rapper Lloyd Banks had gathered to shoot the promo.

Police, who have found a gun that could be connected to the shooting in an empty lot next to the building, believe the killing might be linked to an earlier argument. Nobody else was injured in the incident and no arrests have yet been made.

One onlooker at the video shoot tells The New York Times that a row erupted as a group of men were asked to leave the warehouse approximately half an hour before Ramirez was shot.

The 51-year-old source tells the publication: "Words were exchanged, and they were not happy words." The celebrities, he adds, "just disappeared".

Ramirez had worked for Rhymes - real name TREVOR SMITH - in a security capacity since the mid-1990s.