No evidence of link in rapper slayings

March 12, 1997

No evidence of link in rapper slayings

Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) – There is currently no evidence to link the slayings of rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., or to substantiate rumors that an East Coast-West Coast rivalry may be behind the killings, a police official said.

“We have no evidence of any link” between the two killings, Las Vegas Metro Police Lt. Wayne Petersen said Wednesday. “It’s too early in the investigation to know if there’s any link.”

Petersen said Homicide Sgt. Kevin Manning, the lead investigator in the Shakur killing, had talked with Los Angeles officers by phone regarding the Sept. 7 shooting of Shakur and Sunday’s fatal shooting of Notorious B.I.G.

He declined to say what was discussed.

“I’m not free to comment on their investigation,” he said of Los Angeles police.

Shakur was wounded in a drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas Strip Sept. 7 and died six days later. Notorious B.I.G., also know as Christopher Wallace, was killed in a similar incident in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Petersen called talk of a deadly East Coast-West Coast rivalry “media hype.”

“We have no indication Shakur’s murder was in any way tied to any East Coast-West Coast rivalry,” Petersen said. “We completely discounted early on that his murder was tied to any East Coast-West Coast rivalry.

“We have a theory as to what happened” in the Shakur shooting “but we won’t elaborate,” Petersen said, noting the investigation is continuing.

Petersen declined to say when police planned to meet with Frank Alexander, a member of Shakur’s entourage who initially told officers he could not identify the shooter, then later said he might be able to do so.

Police have said they plan to show Alexander photos of possible suspects.

“We don’t need media coverage of our meeting with Frank Alexander,” Petersen said.

Asked if police had been in touch with a second potential witness, Malcolm Greenridge, Petersen said “not directly.”

“It’s not any business of the media when we meet with these two witnesses,” Petersen said. “It’s an ongoing investigation. I’m not going to jeopardize their safety by discussing when and where we’re going to meet with them.”

Asked if he was concerned about the safety of the two witnesses, Petersen responded, “Violence is so rampant in the rap music business that anyone would have to be concerned.”

Sunday’s killing sparked new theories of a bloody East-West rivalry.

Wallace 24, was affiliated with Bad Boy Entertainment in New York City.

Shakur was affiliated with Death Row Records in Los Angeles.

Shakur had accused Wallace of involvement in a 1994 robbery in which Shakur was shot several times and lost $40,000 in jewelry. Wallace denied the allegations.

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