Wednesday, Sept. 11, 1996 | 11:59 a.m.
A security videotape shows rapper Tupac Shakur, his professional bodyguards and members of his entourage "beating and stomping" an unidentified black man inside the MGM Grand a few hours before Shakur was shot on a Las Vegas street, anonymous police sources said.
"They kicked the s--- out of him," said a source who viewed surveillance videotape provided by the MGM. "A whole bunch of his entourage was involved."
Shakur, 25, was in critical condition today in a medicinally induced coma and on life support after having a lung removed at University Medical Center. So far, he's had three surgeries, which included removing his right lung to stop internal bleeding, officials said. He may undergo a fourth surgery, hospital spokesman Dale Pugh said.
The New York Times today quoted UMC surgeon Dr. John Fildes as saying Shakur's injury "carries a very high mortality rate."
Is isn't clear why Metro Police officers who worked the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon heavyweight boxing match Saturday night told homicide investigators that Shakur and his group were not involved in a fight before the shooting.
Homicide investigators earlier said they interviewed officers who worked the fight and "completely ruled that out," Sgt. Kevin Manning told reporters at a Monday news conference. Even though the videotape depicts a "pretty bad beating," Metro officers did not file a police report, the source said.
Manning said, "We're not making any comments on the tape yet."
Police were "aware of at least four incidents at the MGM Grand that had absolutely nothing to do with this shooting," he said.
As for the incident involving Shakur and his group, he said, "Metro didn't take a report, no."
Police are not commenting on the internal investigation, other than to say the matter "is being looked into."
Marion "Suge" Knight, who was driving a BMW on East Flamingo Road when a gunman in a white late-model Cadillac pulled up next to them and emptied a semiautomatic pistol into the passenger side, hitting Shakur four times in the chest and lower abdomen. Knight was slightly injured in the head from bullet fragments.
Knight, 31, who runs the Los Angeles-based Death Row Records, which represents Shakur and rap artist Snoop Doggy Dogg, still has not been interviewed by police, even though his three attorneys -- two from Las Vegas and one from Los Angeles -- promised to bring him in.
"His attorneys are telling us they're bringing him in," Manning said today.
The gunman's Cadillac, with California or Nevada plates and three or four men inside, sped south on Koval Lane after the shooting. Knight made a U-turn on Flamingo and, with two flat tires, headed for the Strip, where police stopped him at Harmon Avenue. Paramedics arrived and took both men to UMC.
Knight and Shakur, followed by a caravan of cars, had left the fight and had driven to a house Knight owns in the southeast valley where several people changed clothes, police said. They were headed east on Flamingo Road and were stopped at the intersection at Koval when the gunman opened fire. At least 13 rounds were fired into the passenger side of the car, police said.
Homicide investigators have been in contact with Los Angeles Sheriff and New York Police departments to investigate a possible East Coast-West Coast rap music rivalry, Manning said.
Shakur, who starred opposite Janet Jackson in the film "Poetic Justice," has a history of violence and arrests. He also has been shot before, in November 1994, by robbers in the lobby of a New York City recording studio, and lost $40,000 worth of gold jewelry.