Possibly because today’s rap beefs look like this, the ’90s feud that led to the deaths of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur remains a subject of endless public fascination, and bottomless bins of tacky, airbrushed T-shirts. Adding to that legend, Chris Caroll, a former Las Vegas bike cop who was on the scene at Shakur’s fatal shooting in 1996, recently gave an interview to the Vegas Seven, where he recounted what he says were the dying rapper’s last words. (As opposed to his last wordz, which are already well documented.)

According to Carroll, Shakur’s final moments were spent focused on Suge Knight, in a way that we are certainly not at all implying is suspicious because we don’t want to get hurt.

“So I’m looking at Tupac, and he’s trying to yell back at Suge, and I’m asking him, ‘Who shot you? What happened? Who did it?’ And he was just kind of ignoring me. He was making eye contact with me here and there, but he’s trying to yell at Suge. And I kept asking over and over, ‘Who did this? Who shot you?’ And he basically kept ignoring me. And then I saw in his face, in his movements, all of a sudden in the snap of a finger, he changed. And he went from struggling to speak, being noncooperative, to an ‘I’m at peace’ type of thing. Just like that.

“He went from fighting to ‘I can’t do it.’ And when he made that transition, he looked at me, and he’s looking right in my eyes. And that’s when I looked at him and said one more time, ‘Who shot you?’

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At that point, Shakur’s distrust of the police—or his disbelief that anyone would quote that Biggie song to his face—took over, and he responded with a benediction befitting his legacy.

“He looked at me and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth, and I thought I was actually going to get some cooperation. And then the words came out: ‘Fuck you.’”

As for why Carroll waited this long to tell everyone that Tupac spent his final breath telling him to fuck off, he says it’s because no one ever thought to ask him—and also that Tupac’s murder was an open investigation, so he didn’t feel comfortable commenting until after he retired. Still, there’s another, more telling reason:

“The…main reason I didn’t go public with this before is I didn’t want Tupac to be a martyr or hero because he told the cops ‘Fuck you.’ I didn’t want to give him that. I didn’t want people to say, ‘Even when the chips were down, his life on the line, he still said “Fuck you,” he still wouldn’t talk to the police.’ I didn’t want him to be a hero for that. And now enough time has passed, well, he’s a martyr anyway; he’s viewed as a hero anyway. My story, at this point, isn’t going to change any of that.”

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Carroll’s cementing of Tupac as a hero aside, there’s some question as to whether “Fuck you” could have really been Tupac’s last words, technically speaking, seeing as he survived another six days under heavy sedation. And, of course, there are the longstanding suppositions of beer commercials and Suge Knight alike that Tupac is still alive and on an island somewhere, presumably saying all sorts of not-as-badass things. But if nothing else, this news negates our pet theory that Tupac’s last words were “Please, don’t make me into a hologram.”

[via The Wrap]