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Notorious B.I.G. autopsy: Family suspicious of LAPD motives

December 7, 2012 |  8:16 pm

The family of  Notorious B.I.G. expressed skepticism Friday after the Los Angeles Police Department unsealed the 15-year-old autopsy report on the slain rapper.

LAPD officials said they hoped the unsealing would generate new leads in the mystery.

 “Investigators decided to release the autopsy to stimulate new interest in the case and hopefully produce new leads,” said Lt. Andrew Neiman.

But on Friday night, an attorney for the family, which has long been at odds with the LAPD over the case, questioned why the information was being released now.

“What legitimate lead could be stimulated by releasing an autopsy that says Mr. Wallace was shot, when everyone knows that," said Perry Sanders Jr., a civil rights attorney who represents Wallace's mother and other relatives. "Why don't they release some of clues they have?"

The autopsy had been kept private at the request of investigators. But on Friday, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office released the 23-page report, which provided details about the shooting.

DOCUMENT: Read full report on Notorious B.I.G.’s autopsy

Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher George Latore Wallace, died in March 1997 when he was shot four times in a drive-by attack on Wilshire Boulevard while sitting in the front passenger seat of a Chevrolet Suburban.

Although he was hit four times, only one of the shots was fatal, the autopsy said.

That shot, according to Dr. Lisa Scheinin, entered his right hip before slicing through his colon, liver, heart and part of his lung and then wedging itself in his left shoulder area.

One shot hit Wallace's left forearm and traveled down to his wrist, while a another shot 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 before glancing off his scrotum.

Examiners  could not determine the sequence of the shots.

The Brooklyn rapper, who was also known as Biggie Smalls, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Doctors performed emergency surgery, but he died from his wounds.

Two medium-caliber lead bullets were recovered from his hospital gurney.

No drugs or alcohol were found in his system, according to a toxicology screening.

The shooting occurred outside the Petersen Automotive Museum in the Miracle Mile area as the rapper was leaving a music industry party. At the time of his death, Wallace was one of the biggest stars in rap music. Coroner's officials noted that he arrived at Cedars-Sinai in full cardiac arrest and died a short time later.

His slaying shocked the hip-hop community, coming just months after the Las Vegas slaying of another marquee rapper, Los Angeles-based Tupac Shakur.

Once friends, the rappers became rivals whose respective camps regularly traded violent barbs in song lyrics and in interviews. Shakur's slaying also remains unsolved. Various theories have linked the two homicides.

The FBI opened its own probe after Wallace's family accused the LAPD of covering up how the rapper actually died. Los Angeles police officials last year said they exhaustively searched for answers in the case without an arrest.

The LAPD did not disclose any further details about the case Friday.

-- Richard Winton

Follow Richard Winton (@LACrimes) on Twitter and Google+