Lawyer for family of Notorious B.I.G. blasts LAPD

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - The lawyer for Notorious B.I.G.’s family and widow says it is ridiculous that arrests haven’t been made in the rapper’s 1997 killing since he’s been told that the case has been solved.

Perry Sanders Jr. says a former police detective has told him that the case was solved years ago and a current member of the police force has also confirmed that to him.

Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French declined to comment, saying the killing of Notorious B.I.G. remains an open investigation.

Sanders has sued the city over its investigation of the 24-year-old’s rapper’s shooting death.

Notorious B.I.G.’s real name was Christopher Wallace. He was killed in a drive-by shooting after leaving a music industry event.

An autopsy report released Friday says he was killed by a single bullet that pierced several vital organs.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Notorious B.I.G. was killed by a single bullet that pierced several vital organs in a 1997 drive-by shooting, a long-sealed autopsy report released Friday shows.

The rapper was hit four times in the shooting, which 15 years later remains one of Los Angeles’ highest-profile unsolved murders.

The report had been sealed at the request of detectives until last week, Chief Coroner Investigator Craig Harvey said. The 23-page report details the trajectory of each of the shots that hit the rapper, whose name was Christopher Wallace. Investigators determined that a single shot that hit his left lung, heart and colon led to the 24-year-old’s death.

No drugs or alcohol were found in his system, the report states.

The rapper from Brooklyn, N.Y., had just left a music industry event when he was shot. Los Angeles police and the FBI have investigated the killing, but no arrests have ever been made. Neither agency had any immediate comment on the release of the report.

A lawyer for Wallace’s family and widow Faith Evans did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Federal agents conducted a bi-coastal search for Wallace’s killer, but federal prosecutors determined in 2005 that there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue a case. Agents looked into whether any Los Angeles police officers had been involved in the shooting, which came months after another rap superstar, Tupac Shakur, was shot dead in Las Vegas.

In March 2011, the FBI electronically released files on its investigation, which were heavily redacted but shed new light on the efforts that investigators took 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 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.

Wallace’s family filed a federal lawsuit against Los Angeles, and a 2005 trial ended with a mistrial after attorneys for Wallace’s family discovered the city had withheld a trove of LAPD documents.

The family dismissed the lawsuit in 2010. Their attorney said that was done in order for the FBI and other agencies to pursue new leads in the case.

The civil case could be refiled, although that has not yet occurred.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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