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The NY Shooting '94

Sweatin' Bullets - Tupac Shakur dodges death but can't beat the rap
- from VIBE February 1995

Since before the day he was born, Tupac Shakur has battled "the system"-but never so dramatically as in the last 48 hours of November. On the 29th, a Manhattan jury had convened to deliberate charges of sodomy, sexual abuse, and weapons possession against Tupac, 23, and his codefendant, Charles Fuller, 24. They stood accused of molesting a 19-year-old woman in Tupac's $750-a-night, 38th-floor Parker Meridien Hotel suite on November 18, 1993. After the first day of deliberations, Tupac left for a publicity stop in Harlem, then went on to Times Square's Quad Recording Studio to record a track with Uptown Records' Little Shawn. Facing a maximum 25-year sentence, Tupac knew it might be his last recording session for some time.
At 12:20 a.m., Tupac was running more than an hour late when he and his three-man entourage swept past a black man sitting on a desk in the entranceway of the office building where Quad is located. The man got up from the desk as two confederates (also black) came in the door, and the three followed Tupac and his crew to the elevator, pulled out guns, and hollered, "Give up the jewelry, and get on the floor!" While his friends lay on the gray stone floor, Tupac cursed at the holdup men and lunged for one of the guns. The rapper was shot at least four times. His manager Freddie Moore was hit once. The robbers nabbed $5,000 worth of Moore's jewelry, as well as Tupac's $30,000 diamond ring and $10,000 in gold chains. They left Tupac's diamond-encrusted gold Rolex.
Moore gave chase, collapsing in front of a strip club next door. His friends dragged the severely wounded Tupac into the elevator and up to the eighth-floor studio to administer first aid. Tupac's first call was reportedly to his mom, Afeni Shakur, in Atlanta; then he called 911.

When the cops showed up, Tupac saw some familiar faces. Two of the first four police officers on the scene were William Kelly and Joseph Kelly (no relation), and "seconds later, Officer Craig McKernan arrived. McKernan had supervised the two Kellys in Tupac's arrest at the Parker Meridien and had just testified at the rape trial. "Hi, Officer McKernan," Shakur sputtered, lying naked in a pool of his own blood. "Hey, Tupac, you hang in there," McKernan responded, as an EMS team secured a brace around Tupac's neck and strapped him to a board. The stretcher didn't fit into the elevator, so he had to be propped upright, blood streaming down from his wounds. McKernan helped carry him out past a waiting photographer. "I can't believe you're taking my picture on a stretcher," Tupac groaned, flipping off the photog.
Tupac was rushed to Bellevue Hospital. "He was hit by a low-caliber missile," says Dr. Leon Pachter, chief of Bellevue's trauma department. "Had it been a high-caliber missile, he'd have been dead." Tupac continued to bleed heavily all day, so at 1:30 p.m., Pachter and a 12-doctor team operated on the damaged blood vessel high in his right leg. At 4 p.m., he was out of surgery. At 6:45 p.m., against the vociferous complaints of his doctors, he checked himself out. "I haven't seen anybody in my 25-year professional career leave the hospital like this," says Dr. Pachter. Afeni, who had flown up from Atlanta, wheeled the heavily bandaged Tupac out the back door, fighting through a crowd of reporters.
The next day, Tupac made a surprise appearance in the Manhattan courtroom where his fate was being decided. He was wheeled in by Nation of Islam bodyguards, his charmed Rolex on his right wrist, his left wrist wrapped in gauze, and his bandaged head and leg covered by a wool-knit Yankees hat and a black Nike warm-up suit.

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