It's hard to believe that it has been 18 years since Tupac was murdered in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. The shootout took place on the evening of September 7, 1996 at roughly 11:15 pm, at the intersection of East Flamingo Road and Koval Lane. A white Cadillac filled with an unknown number of assailants pulled up to a BMW that was being driven by Suge Knight and shots rang out. Tupac was riddled with bullets in his right hand, thigh, pelvis and chest. One bullet passed straight through his lung. Suge was grazed in the head by a bullet fragment. Tupac was rushed to the hospital where he violently attempted to get out of this hospital bed multiple times. In order to prevent him from injuring himself further, doctors put Tupac under a barbiturate induced coma. He laid silently in that coma for the next six days. Despite all their efforts, doctors could not stop Tupac's internal bleeding. Tragically, on September 13, Tupac's mother realized hope had been lost and allowed the doctors to bring Tupac off life support.
Tupac was unable to speak the entire time he was in the hospital, mostly because he was in a coma. For 18 years, no one has known what this lyrical genius' final mortal words were. Until today.
Las Vegas motorcycle police officer Chris Carroll was the first person to arrive on the grisly scene at East Flamingo Road and Koval Road. In the 18 years since Tupac's muder, Officer Carroll has never spoken publicly about what exactly he rode up to on that fateful night. Instead of paraphrasing, below is Chris Carroll's full account of what he remembers from the night Tupac was shot. And more importantly, we finally learn after 18 years what Tupac's last words were. They are… appropriate. Read the entire description below. Officer Carroll's words are haunting:
"I finally get the car door to open, and as I pull it open, the guy inside came right out, like he was leaning against the door.
And at first I thought the guy was going to bust out of the door right on top of me. I thought this was his plan of attack, so to speak. But then I notice that he's not coming out of the door, he was falling out of it.
So I grabbed him with my left arm and he falls into me, and I've still got my gun in the other hand. 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.
I've got him in one hand, I've got the gun in the other hand, I'm still yelling at the other guys, and I pull him out of the car. Well, right about then, thank God, another bike cop shows up. He was probably the guy who was chasing the cars initially. He gets Suge off my back, because Suge was somewhat of a threat to me, the other guys were kinda listening – some proned out, some on their knees, some standing around.
The other cop pushes Suge away from me, and I look down at the guy I'm holding: He's still conscious. I could see he's shot several times, but I can't tell where he's shot. And as I pulled him out of the car, he was wincing in pain. He's looking at me, he's groaning. I laid him down on the pavement, and then I looked inside the car to see if there was anybody else in there, but there wasn't.
After I pulled him out, Suge starts yelling at him, 'Pac! Pac!' And he just keeps yelling it. And the guy I'm holding is trying to yell back at him. He's sitting up and he's struggling to get the words out, but he can't really do it. And as Suge is yelling 'Pac!,' I look down and I realize that this is Tupac Shakur. At the time, it didn't really mean much of anything to me. I was more concerned that this was a bad situation to be in with just one other cop.
There's something in police work called the 'dying declaration', a legal concept that, in a nutshell, basically says that if someone who believes they're going to die gives out the name of a suspect or is able to explain what happened, that's not considered hearsay in court when they're not there to testify, it's admissible evidence.
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 non-cooperative, 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.
I've heard all the conspiracy theories that have come out, that Suge had something to do with it. And I'll tell you, that didn't happen. And one reason is: You don't hire somebody to kill the guy who's sitting next to you. And second of all: When we were at the scene, and he was yelling at Tupac, it was clear he had legitimate concern for him. 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."
So there you have it. Officer Carroll's words are absolutely chilling. And Tupac's final words are pretty appropriate for the man who personified Thug Life. What do you think, after all these years, of Tupac's legacy? Who do you think shot him? Was he the greatest rapper of all time?