No gang connection in rapper's death

Sept. 18, 1996
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LOS ANGELES, Sept. 18 -- Police found no gang connection in the ambush-style shooting of rap star Tupac Shakur and the slayings of two other men in Los Angeles last week, a published report said Wednesday. A Los Angeles Times report said police earlier received tips the slayings of two 21-year-old men were a gang-related payback for the attack on Shakur, who died last Friday in Las Vegas after spending nearly a week in intensive care at University Medical Center. But an investigation into the deaths of Marcus Duron Childs and Timothy Flanagan last Friday found 'nothing to link this incident with anything having to do with Tupac Shakur or any activities in the state of Nevada,' police spokesman Capt. Steven Roller said. Police said Childs and Flanagan were in the carport of an apartment complex when a man walked up to them and gunned them down just after noon Friday, about three hours before Shakur was pronounced dead. The timing and location of the double homicide prompted speculation within the rap music industry and among people close to Shakur and Death Row Records President Marion 'Suge' Knight, who was driving the black BMW in which Shakur was shot, the report said. Shakur, 25, was shot at least three times in the chest Sept. 7 by the occupants of a passing white Cadillac as he sat in the passenger seat. Knight received only a minor head wound. The pair had just attended the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon heavyweight title fight at the MGM Grand.

But frustrated Las Vegas police investigators have received little cooperation from witnesses -- including Shakur's bodyguards -- in identifying the car or potential suspects, leading to a whirlwind of rumors as to why the rap star was gunned down. The Las Vegas shooting marked the second time Shakur had been shot in less than two years. He was shot five times in November 1994 by robbers in the lobby of a New York City recording studio. Shakur had a series of brushes with the law, including convictions in Los Angeles for misdemeanor assault and battery and in New York for sexual assault. He served seven months on the sexual assault charge before posting bail pending an appeal. Shakur starred in the film 'Poetic Justice' with singer Janet Jackson and was working on another film, 'Gridlock,' prior to his death.

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