Christopher 'Notorious B.I.G' Wallace. File photo: Mark Lennihan

An attorney for the family of Notorious B.I.G. said it was ridiculous that Los Angeles police had not arrested anyone for the rapper’s 1997 killing, which has returned to the spotlight after coroner’s officials released a long-sealed autopsy report.

The report revealed that injuries caused by a single bullet killed the rapper, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, during a drive-by shooting in March 1997. Wallace 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 23-page report states.

Perry Sanders jr said he was not given notice that the report would be released, and he criticised police for not closing one of Los Angeles’s highest-profile unsolved murders, especially since he had been told that police had identified those responsible.

“I’ve been advised by the detective who was in charge of the investigation and is no longer with the department that the crime has been solved for several years now,” Sanders said. “This was confirmed by at least one other person who is currently on the force, and it is ridiculous that an arrest has not been made.”

The Los Angeles police and the FBI investigated Wallace’s killing, which came months after another rap star, Tupac Shakur, was gunned down in Las Vegas. The FBI looked into whether any Los Angeles cops 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 book published last year by former LAPD detective Greg Kading claimed both murders had been solved, though no arrests have been made and prosecutors declined to file charges in 2005 after a lengthy investigation.

Police spokesman Richard French declined to comment.

The coroner’s report had been sealed for more than 15 years until police lifted a hold on it last week, said chief coroner investigator Craig Harvey. The report details the trajectory of each of the shots that hit the rapper and states there were no signs of alcohol or drugs in his system when he died.


In March, the FBI released files on its investigation, which shed new light on efforts investigators made to try to find those responsible for the rapper’s death. Agents conducted surveillance and interviews in Los Angeles, San Diego and New York, the files showed.

The FBI referred all questions on the case to Los Angeles police. – Sapa-AP