The first police officer at the scene of Tupac Shakur's 1996 drive-by murder has revealed the last words spoken by the late rap legend. And they're not exactly peaceful.
"He looked at me, and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth," says Chris Carroll, a retired sergeant with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, in a new feature with Vegas Seven. "And then the words came out: ‘Fuck you.’"
Shakur was shot multiple times on September 7th, 1996. After leaving a boxing match with former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight, the rapper and his bodyguards got into a scuffle with 21-year-old Crips gang member Orlando Anderson in the lobby of the MGM Grand casino. Carroll, who worked with the city's bike patrol unit, had also been watching the same Mike Tyson fight, but was unaware of the brawl taking place in the lobby.
Later, a white Cadillac pulled up beside Knight and Shakur while they were stopped at a traffic light and one man began shooting out of the back window. Carroll was the first officer to respond to the grisly scene.
"So I grabbed him with my left arm, and he falls into me, and I’ve still got my gun in the other hand," the officer tells Vegas Seven. "He’s covered with blood, and I immediately notice that the guy’s got a ton of gold on – a necklace and other jewelry – and all of the gold is covered in blood. That has always left an image in my mind. . . And as Suge is yelling ‘Pac!,’ I look down and I realize that this is Tupac Shakur."
Elsewhere in the Vegas Seven story, Carroll says he attempted to get a "dying declaration" of a potential suspect from Shakur, but the rapper was ignoring him at first.
"And then I saw in his face, in his movements, all of a sudden in the snap of a finger, he changed," he says. "And he went from struggling to speak, being noncooperative, to an ‘I’m at peace’ type of thing. Just like that. . . And that’s when I looked at him and said one more time, ‘Who shot you?’. . . I thought I was actually going to get some cooperation. And then the words came out: ‘Fuck you."
So why is Carroll coming forward with with information in 2014? Two reasons: Retiring from the Metro has allowed him the freedom to speak about the homicide case without being reprimanded ("It's been almost 18 years," he says. There's clearly never going to be a court case on this."), and he also didn't want "Tupac to be a martyr or a hero because he told the cops 'Fuck you.'"