Entertainment

LAPD Apologizes To Family Of Notorious B.I.G. Over Release Of Autopsy Report

Notorious B.I.G. funeral scene March 18, 1997. (credit: JON LEVY/AFP/Getty Images)

Notorious B.I.G. funeral scene March 18, 1997. (credit: JON LEVY/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department have apologized to the family of the Notorious B.I.G. for not warning them about the planned release of his autopsy report more than 15 years after he was fatally shot.

The autopsy report was released late last week after a security hold was lifted.

LAPD detectives said they planned to notify the rapper’s family, but said the report was released prematurely “due to an administrative error,” the department said in a statement.

“Our detectives personally spoke with the Wallace family [Friday] night, and apologized for not notifying them prior to the release” said Capt. Billy Hayes, who heads LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, which is investigating the killing. “Obviously this has been a challenging case for us to solve. We hope that witnesses or other people with information will come forward and give us the clues we need to solve this case.”

The rapper, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was fatally shot in a drive-by in L.A. in March 1997.

The 23-page report revealed the Brooklyn native was hit by four bullets after leaving a music industry event, but one that hit his heart, left lung and colon caused his death.

The attorney for the rapper’s family complained Friday that he was not given any notice that the report would be released and criticized police for not closing one of Los Angeles’ highest-profile unsolved murders.

Both Los Angeles police and the FBI investigated Wallace’s killing, which came just months after another rap superstar, Tupac Shakur, was gunned down in Las Vegas. The FBI looked into whether any Los Angeles police officers were involved in Wallace’s shooting.

The deaths of Wallace and Shakur have been the subject of rampant speculation about the motives. The one-time friends became rivals and instigators in an East Coast-West Coast rap rivalry during the mid-1990s.

A 2011 book by former Los Angeles police detective Greg Kading claimed both murders had been solved, although no arrests have been made and federal prosecutors in 2005 declined to file charges after a lengthy, bi-coastal investigation.

The Notorious B.I.G. was survived by his mother, wife and two children.

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