Notorious B.I.G. autopsy 'prematurely' released by LAPD [Google+ hangout]
Los Angeles Times crime reporters Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein will join City Editor Shelby Grad in a Google+ hangout at 2 p.m. to discuss rapper Notorious B.I.G.'s autopsy, which was released last week 15 years after his slaying.
The Los Angeles Police Department apologized to the family of Christopher George Latore Wallace for the "'premature" release of the report. The family had criticized the police for releasing the report without telling them first.
The LAPD opted to release the autopsy "as an investigative tool, in the hopes that releasing the report would stimulate additional interest or bring forth witnesses or clues in the case.” Wallace was shot four times in March 1997 in a drive-by attack on Wilshire Boulevard. The case remains unsolved.
"Due to an administrative error, the autopsy report was released prematurely. Robbery-Homicide Division detectives had intended to notify Mr. Wallace's family prior to releasing the report," the LAPD said in a statement.
In most instances, the results of an autopsy are released shortly after the coroner's office has completed its investigation. In a few instances, particularly high-profile investigations, the autopsy results are withheld while the case is under investigation.
The LAPD took the unusual step of unsealing Wallace’s 15-year-old autopsy report, saying they hoped to generate new leads in the murder mystery. The 23-page document provided details about the shooting.
Wallace, who had been sitting in a sport utility vehicle, was killed by a shot that entered his right hip before slicing through his colon, liver, heart and part of his lung before wedging in his left shoulder area, according to the report signed by Dr. Lisa Scheinin, deputy medical examiner.
One shot hit Wallace's left forearm and traveled down to his wrist, another hit him in the back and exited his body through his left shoulder, the report said. Another shot hit his left thigh and traveled through to his inner thigh.