Shakur's death certificate details
By Cathy Scott
LAS VEGAS SUN
-Coroner's report: Some people say
that the coroner's report could be a fake because the weight
statistic isn't accurate. It lists 'Pac as 215 pounds. That's much heavier than he was believed to be.
[Reporter Cathy Scott has authored a book on the murder of Tupac
Shakur. Here in an exclusive and copyrighted account, she details
the coroner's report and death certificate.]
No one followed the mortuary van carrying Tupac Shakur's body from
the hospital to the morgue. The van drove three blocks without being
An autopsy was done the evening of Sept. 13, 1996, almost
immediately following his death, according to authorities.
While the autopsy report is not deemed by Nevada state law to be
public information, the coroner's report is available to the public.
However, after I bought a copy for $5, an office employee later said
it had been given to me in error, and that they would not be
releasing it to anyone because of the ongoing homicide
investigation. To my knowledge, I am the only reporter to have a
copy of that report. Six 35-millimeter photos taken during and after
the autopsy are on file at the coroner's office, along with the
According to statements on the four-page coroner's report, Tupac
Shakur's remains were positively identified by his mother, Afeni
Shakur. The autopsy determined that Tupac didn't have any illegal
drugs in his system. He was, however, heavily sedated during his
hospital stay, it says.
He had been shot in his right hand, right hip and right chest just
under his right arm.
"I interviewed the decedent's mother, Afeni Shakur, and she
stated that the decedent was not married and he had no
children," coroner Investigator Ed Brown wrote in his report.
"She stated that Tupac A. Shakur was his name. She was not able
to give any more information than this."
After Tupac's arrival at University Medical Center immediately
following the shooting, a trauma center surgeon removed one bullet
from Tupac's pelvis area.
In a conversation with Ed Brown at the hospital following Tupac's
death, the surgeon told Brown that Tupac's injuries included a
gunshot wound to his right chest with a "massive hemothorax"
and a gunshot wound to the right thigh with "the bullet
palpable within the abdomen." Tupac also had a gunshot wound to
a right finger with a fracture. The preoperative diagnosis was a
gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen and post-operative bleeding.
The one bullet remaining in Tupac's chest was not removed during
surgery, but during the autopsy, Coroner Ron Flud told me. It then
became evidence, he said.
When Tupac arrived at the hospital's trauma center, he was wheeled
into the recovery area and "was resuscitated according to
advanced trauma life support protocol," the report said, and
"a full trauma activation was called."
He was placed on life support machines. Two liters of blood that had
hemorrhaged into his chest cavity were removed. His pulse was
"very thready and initially he had a minimal blood pressure,
which rapidly declined." He was taken immediately to the
operating room for operative intervention and further resuscitation.
His right lung was removed.
The report states that Shakur underwent two operations. The first
started at 6:25 p.m. on Sept. 8 and lasted an hour. The surgery
"consisted of exploratory" procedures. The surgeon noted
that it appeared Tupac had had some prior surgery for bullet wounds
on his upper right chest area.
The second operation at University Medical Center consisted of
"ligation of bleeding" and removal of a bullet from his
pelvic area. It was done at midnight on Sept. 8 and completed at
2:35 a.m. on Sept. 9.
Tupac was pronounced dead at 4:03 p.m. Sept. 13 Dr. James Lovett at
University Medical Center. Clark County Coroner Investigator Ed
Brown was called to the hospital at 4:15 p.m.
"Upon my arrival ... I found no apparent life signs, and trauma
was observed to the right hand, right hip and right chest under the
right arm, apparently caused from gunshots.''
Death certificate details
In February 1997, SUN reporter Cathy Scott went to the Clark County
Office of Vital Statistics and viewed Tupac Shakur's death
certificate. The only copy released was to his mother, Afeni Shakur.
The original is on file with the county. It's against Nevada Revised
Statute to forge or sign a public document, including death
certificates. The death certificate acts as the official notice of
death. It includes the following:
-Tupac Amaru Shakur was pronounced dead by Dr. Lovett at 4:03
p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, 1996, at University Medical Center's
Intensive Care Unit.
- The one-page death certificate was filed with Clark County's
vital records section by County Coroner Ron Flud on Sept. 18, 1996.
Dr. Ed Brown with Coroner's office signed the certificate.
- His mother, Afeni Shakur, made a positive identification of
his body at 5 p.m. at the hospital. His body was then taken by Davis
Mortuary to the morgue, three blocks away. An autopsy was performed
and the official cause of death was respiratory failure and
cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds.
- Shakur's occupation was listed as "rap singer" and
the company he worked for was shown as "Euphanasia" in Los
- A county seal was stamped on the certificate, making it an