A new interview with the Las Vegas police officer who was first on the scene when Tupac Shakur was fatally shot outside the MGM Grand in 1996 alleges that the 25-year-old rapper’s last words were a kiss-off to the cop. The interview is the centerpiece of a feature written by the officer’s cousin and published by Las Vegas alt-weekly Vegas Seven earlier this week.
Chris Carroll, who retired from the Las Vegas Metro Police Department in 2010, was a bike-patrol officer working a night shift on the evening of Sept. 7, when boxer Mike Tyson won a first-round knockout match against Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand Hotel and after which the gang-related initial skirmish involving Tyson’s good friend Shakur and Death Row Records boss Suge Knight broke out.
A few minutes after the fight, after Shakur and Knight had driven away from the scene — and into the drive-by with the white Cadillac that contained Shakur’s killers — Carroll was the first police officer on the scene, and the one to eventually open the passenger door of Knight’s BMW and catch a bleeding Shakur as he fell out of the car. Carroll alleges that instead of naming his murderers, who had shot him four times in the chest, Shakur stuck to his no-snitching mantra to the end:
“So I’m looking at Tupac, and he’s trying to yell back at Suge, and I’m asking him, ‘Who shot you? What happened? Who did it?’ And he was just kind of ignoring me. He was making eye contact with me here and there, but he’s trying to yell at Suge. And I kept asking over and over, ‘Who did this? Who shot you?’ And he basically kept ignoring me. And then I saw in his face, in his movements, all of a sudden in the snap of a finger, he changed. And he went from struggling to speak, being noncooperative, to an ‘I’m at peace’ type of thing. Just like that.
“He went from fighting to ‘I can’t do it.’ And when he made that transition, he looked at me, and he’s looking right in my eyes. And that’s when I looked at him and said one more time, ‘Who shot you?’
“He looked at me and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth, and I thought I was actually going to get some cooperation. And then the words came out: ‘Fuck you.’
“After that, he started gurgling and slipping out of consciousness. At that point, an ambulance showed up, and he went into unconsciousness.”
Carroll goes on to recount how he rode along in the ambulance with the unconscious Shakur, in case he regained consciousness and was able to name his killers — a dying declaration does not constitute hearsay and is permissible in court — but says the rapper and actor remained comatose until his death by internal bleeding six days later.
The ex-officer also claimed that, contrary to reports of the case still being investigated, “nothing more is ever going to happen with it,” and that Knight, who many believe had something to do with the murder, “had legitimate concern for [Tupac]. It wasn’t acting; you could see it was the heat of the moment. This is not the guy who had him killed; it’s ridiculous.”
In the 18 years since Shakur’s murder, which is still technically open, the case has been fraught with allegations from reporters of police apathy, in addition to countless conspiracy theories including, most famously, those that claim Shakur is not dead at all, but instead is hiding out in another country. This new report comes just a few weeks before “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” the Broadway musical based on Shakur’s music, begins previewing at the Palace Theatre in New York on June 2.