As famous last words go, no two words could have probably been uttered that would add to the totally bad-ass image, legend, and legacy of rapper Tupac Shakur. And when former Las Vegas police officer Chris Carroll, the last person to be with Shakur outside of friends and family and medical personnel, told his story, it neatly dove-tailed with what was already known about the gangsta rapper.
The Daily Mail reported May 22 that Tupac Shakur was shot, bleeding from several wounds, when Chris Carroll said he pulled him from his vehicle. Carroll had been on bike patrol on the Las Vegas strip when the shooting occurred. Shakur had been hit four times, including a debilitating shot to the chest that ended up in his lung. Ater being placed in a barbituate-induced coma at the hospital, the rapper would die from internal bleeding, respiratory failure, and cardiopulmonary arrest on Sept. 13, 1996, six days after being shot.
Chris Carroll, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sergeant was uncustomarily riding solo (the regular policy was to ride in pairs), when he got the call that shots had been fired. In telling the story to VegasSeven.com, Carroll noted that a caravan of cars had been headed toward him in thick traffic following the earlier Mike Tyson championship fight (which Shakur had attended). As cars came to a stop after the shooting, Carroll said he came off his bike thinking that one of the cars probably housed the shooter or shooters. He pulled his gun as car doors flew open all around him and about ten people stepped out.
"And it was apparent immediately after they got out of the cars that this wasn’t Joe Citizen driving with his wife; these were hard-ass guys," he recalled. "So I’ve got my gun out, and I think one of them is probably the shooter. So I’m yelling for everybody to get down; there’s a ton of people up and down the Strip. I’m concerned about crossfire; I’m concerned that I don’t know who the shooter is. I’m trying to point a gun at five different cars at once, anticipating gunfire. And to my surprise, the gunfire never comes."
Having a difficult time holding his gun on everyone and trying to get into the vehicle of the victim, he said he finally got the door open and a bleeding, heavily wounded man simply fell out on top of him. About that time, another officer showed up. Suge Knight, Tupac's head of security was yelling, "Pac! Pac!" and that's when Carroll realized the victim was Tupac Shakur.
As Carroll's thinking about the dying declaration, which is admissible in a court of law, he asked, "Who shot you? What happened? Who did it?" But Shakur ignored him, trying to get Suge Knight's attention.
But then everything changed.
“He went from fighting to ‘I can’t do it,'" Carroll remembered. "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?’"
Carroll continuted: “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: ‘F*** you.’"
Immediately afterward, the rapper slipped in and out of consciousness. The ambulance showed up and took him away.
As far as is known, the two words of defiance were the last words ever spoken by Shakur.
The shooters were never found. Shakur's silence and the inability of the Las Vegas Police to make an arrest in the shooting gave rise to a plethora of conspiracy theories concerning East Coast versus West Coast rappers, gang-related plots centered around Los Angeles, and various versions of intrigue regarding Suge Knight and New York rapper Notorious B.I.G.
Given the rapper's history with the police and the legal system, not to mention the general code of the street not to give the police any information, the story of Shakur's "dying declaration" rings with a gritty authenticity. And as for famous last words, no other two words could have been scripted more perfectly for the rapper. Intentional or not, former Las Vegas police officer Chris Carroll has added a nice new coat of gloss onto a legend that already presents Shakur as a martyr.
Of course, he did absolutely nothing for the conspiracry theorists who rant on that Tupac Shakur is still living.
Carroll's interview comes just a few weeks before the Shakur-inspired musical, "Holler If Ya Hear Me," is set to debut on Broadway.