Guest Author - Donna Johnson
On their way out of the Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 7, 1996, Tupac Shakur and his entourage got into a physical altercation with Orlando Anderson. Anderson, a resident of Compton, California who would be killed two years later, was a member of the Crips street gang. The fight was brought on by Andersonís alleged involvement in a robbery of Death Row associates earlier in the year.
After the men were separated by hotel security, Shakur changed clothes in preparation for a night on the town, and got into a car driven by Death Row CEO Suge Knight. The last known photograph of Shakur alive was taken during the ride. Shortly after the photo, the pair was stopped by local police along the way for not properly displaying license plates, which were located inside the carís trunk. The police let them go without incident or fine, and they continued toward Club 662, which was owned by Knight.
When Knight stopped at a red light just Ĺ mile from the club, a newer white Cadillac containing three to four men stopped on the carís passenger side. One of the occupants put a .40 caliber Glock handgun out the window and fired rapidly at Knightís car. Shakur attempted to dodge the bullets by jumping into the backseat, but was unsuccessful. The rapper sustained gunshot wounds to his chest, hand and hip.
Although Shakur was hit only three times, in contrast to the 1994 shooting in which he was struck by five bullets, the rapper was mortally wounded. Knight attempted to drive Shakur to the hospital, but two of his vehicleís tires were shot out in the assault. A third tire popped as Knight tried to drive over a median, and an ambulance was summoned to the scene.
Shakur had to be resuscitated at the hospital and underwent several operations, including one to remove his badly damaged right lung. The rapper was placed on a respirator and ventilator, and put into a drug-induced coma to keep him immobile and promote healing. Despite these measures, doctors gave him only a 50% chance of survival and he remained in critical condition.
On September 13, 1996, six days after he was shot, Shakur began hemorrhaging. Doctors worked to stop the blood flow but they were unsuccessful and the rapper died at 4:03 PM Pacific (local) time. The death certificate would cite cardiopulmonary arrest and respiratory failure along with multiple gunshot wounds as his cause of death.
The investigation into Tupacís shooting continued after his death, with police now looking for a killer or killers rather than assailants. The following years would be filled with speculation, accusations of conspiracies and shoddy police work and even theories that Shakur was still alive.