A man who says he was a Las Vegas bike cop and heard Tupac Shakur‘s last words reports that they were “F— you.”
Chris Carroll says in an article his cousin, Sean DeFrank, wrote for the Vegas Seven weekly that he was a sergeant on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s bike patrol unit on the Las Vegas Strip. Shakur and his entourage, including Death Row Records boss Suge Knight, were leaving a Mike Tyson fight on September 7, 1996, when someone opened fire.
Carroll says that he reached Shakur after the shooting and that the rapper was trying to yell to Knight. He said Shakur suddenly 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?'” Carroll said.
“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,'” Carroll said.
Shakur then began gurgling and slipping out of consciousness, Carroll said. And an ambulance took him away.
Even if Carrol’s account is exactly precise, it’s unclear whether Shakur’s words were truly his last, because he survived until Sept. 13. Las Vegas Sun reporter Cathy Scott, who has reported extensively on Shakur’s final hours, says he was under heavy sedation in the hospital.
Curiously, the question “Who shot you,” parallels the title of the Notorious B.I.G. track “Who Shot Ya,” which many have interpreted as a Shakur diss because it came soon after Shakur survived a shooting outside a Manhattan recording studio. The song helped fuel hip-hop’s East Coast-West Coast beef of the mid- 1990s. Shakur responded to the song in his own “Hit ‘Em Up,” in which he rapped: “Who shot me?/ But your punks didn’t finish/Now you ’bout to feel the wrath of a menace.”
It’s complete speculation, but perhaps a recently shot Shakur would think someone shouting “Who shot you” was mocking him with a reference to the song.
Whatever the facts, Carroll’s account joins the extensive list of Tupac legends. Some still hold that the rapper didn’t die at all, but rather faked his own death.