The Tupac Vegas shooting took place on September 7, 1996, where he attended the Mike Tyson verses Bruce Seldon boxing match at the MGM Grand. Tupac was scheduled to perform at Suge Knight‘s Club 662, a benefit for a retired boxer put on by Suge. Tupac would never make it to the club, as he was shot in a drive by shooting on the way to the club, in which he would not recover from his wounds.
Tupac and ‘Iron Mike’ had a very good friendship, hitting it off from their very first encounter at a Brooklyn club in 1991. They had a lot in common — the anger and hurt, being the underdog and experiencing the backlash from the press. Tupac had also written a few songs for Mike to enter the ring for his fights.
Tupac Attends Mike Tyson Fight In Vegas
The afternoon of September 7th 1996, Tupac was enjoying the casinos, gambling in The Luxor and MGM, winning big at the craps tables, attracting a large amount of people.
In the evening, Tupac and Suge Knight head to their ringside seats at the MGM, just as the National Anthem was playing, to cheer on Mike Tyson in the fight against Bruce Seldon.
The fight lasted 109 seconds, finishing at 8.39 PM. Tupac was jumping around, overjoyed that Tyson had took out Seldon out so fast. “Fifty blows! Fifty blows! I counted them” he said. “Bang bang bang bang….Boom!”
Tupac’s Fight With Orlando Anderson
About five minutes after the fight, Tupac and Suge briefly meet up with the Tyson camp backstage, before meeting with the rest of the Death Row entourage and the Outlawz. While talking about the fight in the lobby, Travon Lane, who was part of the Death Row entourage, came up to Tupac and told him that he noticed a guy, named Orlando Anderson, who he had previously attempted to steel Travon’s infamous Death Row chain at the Lakewood Mall.
Tupac immediately shot off in the direction of Orlando Anderson, the alleged crip gang member. Tupac then punched Orlando, knocking him to the ground, where the whole Death Row entourage continued to kick Orlando. The whole scuffle was captured on MGM security tape.
At about 8.55 PM, immediately after the beating of Orlando, the entourage made their way out of the MGM. Followed by a sweeping crowd of people trying to get a glimpse of a very amped up Tupac, everyone headed back over to the Luxor, where the entourage was staying. Tupac was being congratulated on knocking Orlando down, with Pac’ saying “I took him out faster than Tyson!”
Once over at the Luxor, Tupac and Suge changed their clothes. Tupac was now wearing sweatpants and a green vest and he had his Euphanasia Medallion on. They headed downstairs to the parking area to get in the cars to go to Suge’s Club 662. As the cars were being brought around, Tupac instructs his bodyguard, Frank Alexander, to drive Kidada‘s Lexus with the Outlawz, as Tupac was going to ride with Suge Knight.
From the Luxor, they went to Suge Knight’s Las Vegas residence on Monta Rosa Avenue. It was a quick stop, after about fifteen minutes the entourage left for Club 662 on East Flamingo Road. The convoy of cars consisted of about a dozen cars, all top of the range Mercedes, BMW’s, Cadillacs and Lexus. The car Tupac and Suge was travelling in was a newly purchased 1996 black 750 BMW Sedan. (View: Tupac BMW Now On Sale For $1.75 Million In Las Vegas).
At approximately 10.55 PM a photographer, by the name of Leonard Jefferson, took a picture of Tupac as they were sat at a red light. This photograph would be the very last picture of Tupac alive.
Shortly after the photograph was taken, Tupac and Suge were pulled over for playing their stereo to loud and not displaying proper licence plates. After they were let go they went East on Flamingo Road where they stopped at a red light, half a mile from the strip.
Tupac Vegas Shooting
As Tupac and Suge was sitting at the lights waiting for them to change, a white Cadillac pulled up to the right of their BMW. An arm came from out of the back left window of the Cadillac exposing a gun and then started firing. The shooter sprayed the BMW with 13 rounds. As the shooter was spraying the car with bullets, Tupac tried to jump into the back seat. He was hit with four bullets, one of which ricocheted and hit his lung. Suge was grazed by a piece of shrapnel that hit his head.
The cadillac immediately turned right onto Koval Lane and sped away into the night. Suge, however, did u-turn telling Tupac he was going to get him to the hospital with Pac’s reply being “I need a hospital? You’re the one shot in the head” Maybe Suge wasn’t thinking straight as the nearest hospital, Desert Springs, is located not too far from Club 662 at East Flamingo, the way they were travelling. Once he did the U-turn, Suge got caught in traffic, making him decide to go over the central reservation, where he busts 2 tires and comes to a halt at Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue.
Bike patrol police were the first on the scene, ordering Suge out of the car. They had him on the ground, with blood still gushing from his head. Tupac’s bodyguard Frank Alexander, who had been driving behind the BMW, screamed to the police to let him go as he was a victim in a shooting. Eventually they let Suge up and both Frank and Suge raced over to the BMW. The passenger door on the BMW was jammed.
They get Tupac out of the car and onto the floor. Frank Alexander recalls these last moments he had with his friend, “As I’m kneeling down beside him, I could see him looking up at me. “Frank, I can’t breathe,” he whispered. “No man, you’re okay” I cried. But he kept repeating it over and over again. With his own strength, I watched him move both of his hands and cross them over his body. With his eyes open, he took a deep breath and let out a sigh. He closed his eyes. That was the last time I saw him breathe on his own.”
Tupac’s Days In The Hospital
Tupac was rushed to University Medical Center by ambulance, where he lost 22oz of blood on the way. He was admitted into UMC Trauma Center just before midnight and underwent surgery to remove a bullet from the pelvic area. Tupac underwent further surgery on the evening of September 8th, where he had his right lung removed to stop internal bleeding. Tupac remained in ICU at the hospital for the next five days, where he would continue to fight for his life.
Desiree Smith, Tupac’s ex-girlfriend was interviewed by The Art of Dialogue. Although Smith did not watch the Mike Tyson fight she remembers September 7th very well and was at the hospital during Tupac;s final days.
On day 7, right before he passed, Desiree remembers Afeni receiving a phone call where she was told Tupac was going under cardiac arrest. Everyone would then rush to the hospital and according to Desiree, “the rest is history”.
Photos Of Tupac In Vegas
Tupac Memorabilia In Vegas
The outfit worn by Tupac Shakur as he sat ringside watching the Tyson fight is on display at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas. There is no ticket charge and open 24/7 for all to view.