7 yrs. Ago Today 9-13-2003     

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9/12/2003 8:30:24 AM
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7 yrs. Ago Today 9-13-2003
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7 years ago today, we awoke to the following headline and story. Later that afternoon it was announced that Tupac Amaru Shakur was dead. that story follows.

September 13, 1996

Tupac Shakur improves slightly


Rap star Tupac Shakur's condition has improved slightly, officials said, and doctors have given him a better prognosis for survival.

Shakur was shot by an unknown assailant Saturday night after leaving the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon boxing match at the MGM Grand.

Marion "Suge" Knight, chairman of Los Angeles-based Death Row Records, was driving Shakur on East Flamingo Road when a gunman pulled up along side them and emptied a semiautomatic pistol into the passenger side. Shakur was hit four times in the chest and abdomen. Police believe he was the target.

Shakur, 25, was still in critical condition today at University Medical Center, but the head of the hospital's trauma unit said he had passed one critical phase. Doctors treating the rapper did not return telephone calls.

Dr. John Fildes, medical director of UMC's trauma unit, gave a general observation on Shakur's chances of survival.

"Overall, all comers with a gunshot wound in the chest that passes through the blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs, only one in five survive," Fildes said. "The majority die in the first 24 to 48 hours, from shock and bleeding. ..."

Fildes said patients with wounds similar to Shakur's also "die during the second major risk period, after five or seven days, when difficulties in oxygenation or the presence of infections or other complications arise."

It's been six days since Shakur was shot. He underwent surgery twice on Sunday and once on Monday, and his right lung was removed.

Later that day MTV filed this headline and report:

Rapper Tupac Shakur Gunned Down

Sept. 13, 1996 -- Trouble-plagued rapper and actor Tupac Shakur is dead at the age of 25 -- just about a week after sustaining 4 bullet wounds last Saturday night in Las Vegas. Shakur spent the week in the hospital on a respirator in critical condition. The Reverend Jesse Jackson, members of the Nation of Islam, and fellow Death Row Records artist Hammer visited Shakur's bedside on Sunday, when he had one of his lungs removed. Shakur's mother, Afeni -- featured in his "Dear Mama" video -- and other family members kept a vigil at his hospital room in the intensive care unit of University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Early in the week, doctors rated Tupac's chances of survival at one in five, then said his chances had improved on Tuesday, then on Thursday declined to speculate on his prognosis at all. Chris Connelly was on the scene to reconstruct the ultimately fatal events of last Saturday night.

CHRIS CONNELLY: I'm here in Vegas, where the most violent portion of Tupac Shakur's Saturday night was supposed to take place behind me, over there at the MGM

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