In a massive new feature in Vegas Seven, Chris Carroll, the first police officer on the scene at Tupac Shakur’s still-unsolved 1996 shooting in Las Vegas, breaks years of silence by opening up and describing the scene. Carroll was a sergeant on the bike patrol unit, and he talks about a scene of absolute chaos outside the MGM Grand Casino, where a Mike Tyson fight was letting out and where Shakur was in a car, with Suge Knight, when he got shot. Carroll found Shakur, shot but still conscious, in the passenger seat of a car, and he held onto him and tried to talk to him in the moments before an ambulance arrived. Shakur was trying to yell to Knight, but because the final words of a shooting victim are admissible in court, Carroll was trying to ask Shakur who had shot him. Here’s how he describes what happened next
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.
As the paramedics loaded him up, more and more cops are showing up. The threat was gone, but we’re trying to find out what’s going on. It’s a complete mess. They started putting Tupac in the ambulance, so I grabbed one of the guys who worked for me and said, ‘Hop in the ambulance and ride with him, and don’t let him out of your sight at the hospital just in case he talks, just in case he says something, and maybe we can still get a dying declaration.’
As soon as he got to the hospital, he went into surgery and was heavily sedated, and I guess he went into a coma and really never came out of that, until they took him off of life support. So that moment I talked to him was his last real living moment where he was speaking. I talked to the cop who rode in the ambulance with him. He said Tupac never came out of it, and he never said anything at the hospital. There was nothing else.”
Carroll claims that he never talked about Shakur’s final words to anyone because he didn’t want a “fuck you” to a police officer to be remembered as the last actions of a dying hero: ” I didn’t want to give him that. I didn’t want people to say, ‘Even when the chips were down, his life on the line, he still said “Fuck you,” he still wouldn’t talk to the police.’ I didn’t want him to be a hero for that. And now enough time has passed, well, he’s a martyr anyway; he’s viewed as a hero anyway. My story, at this point, isn’t going to change any of that.”
The story has plenty of other interesting stuff about that night, including Shakur’s bond with Mike Tyson. It’s mostly stuff we’ve heard before, but it’s still an absorbing read. Check it out here.