Biggie Smalls was hit by four bullets from the fast gunfire, which was later determined to be a 9mm blue steel handgun. According to Wallace's autopsy, just one of the four shots proved lethal, with the other three missing any essential organ. Wallace was killed by a gunshot that entered his intestines, heart, and liver. The bullet that killed him was recovered from his colon.
Biggie Smalls used a 9mm pistol that belonged to his mother. The gun had the name "Big Mama" printed on it in ink. When police searched her house after his death, they found the gun under a mattress along with several other weapons. No charges were filed against her because there was no evidence that she knew anything about his drug business.
Biggie Smalls was not the only rapper to have been shot. The year before he was killed, Tupac Shakur was shot six times but survived. The same gun used on Biggie also was used on Tupac, showing that guns weren't used on rappers then as a mark of respect.
The murder of Biggie Smalls led to changes being made by the police department and the federal government to prevent another incident like this from happening again. Today, when officers make contact with someone who is armed, they now try to get control of the weapon before taking any further action.
Armed individuals can cause a lot of damage if not handled properly.
|Murder of The Notorious B.I.G.|
|Attack type||Murder, assassination, drive-by shooting|
|Weapons||Blue-steel 9x19mm pistol (exact model and make unknown)|
|Deaths||1 (Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. “The Notorious B.I.G.”)|
It shot a.66 caliber ball (a lower caliber ball allows for powder and patch/cartridge). When firing, it weighed roughly eleven pounds and was held against the chest. The flintlock mechanism had several parts: a lockplate, cocking piece, hammer, trigger, pan (which collected the residue from fired shells), and a spark plug (to start the fire). Additional parts included a barrel, scope or not, ramrod (for cleaning out the barrel after shooting), and sling (for carrying the gun). A skilled shooter could hit a target at 300 yards.
The size of this gun would have been substantial, weighing almost twelve pounds empty and measuring about forty-five inches long. This is larger than most modern guns, but not as large as some antique examples. It is estimated that there were around 5,000 such guns made between 1755 and 1820.
The illustration below shows a typical flintlock gun being cleaned. It should be noted that this illustration is not from any actual painting but rather a draftsmanship drawing used by gunmakers to show the different components of their products. Modern replicas are often cast in one piece with metal finishes applied to the exterior.
Comparing this image with other images on this page, we can see how much has changed since these early guns were produced.
Following the second demand or request for money, Goetz stood from his seat and took a.38 Special five-shot Smith & Wesson handgun from beneath his blue jacket. Goetz took a two-handed battle posture and fired five rounds, striking each of the four guys. He then put the gun back under his jacket and sat down.
Goetz claimed that he used a non-functioning gun in order to avoid violating New York's "one-hand" rule for firearms possession. The rule requires that if a person is not actually holding the gun but has a purpose for having it, such as for protection or to intimidate someone, they must be able to show that they have their finger off the trigger during any part of the time that they have this purpose for having the weapon.
In addition, Goetz said that he didn't want to go to jail for having an unlicensed firearm. However, this was not required at the time of the incident because New York law only required a license for guns that were designed to shoot more than one round with a single pull of the trigger. The.38 Special that Goetz used was only capable of firing once before requiring reloading.
After the shooting, police found $40 in cash in Goetz's pocket. This was likely the last money that the victims had seen before being shot.