Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2002 | 11:13 a.m.
Rap singer Snoop Dogg made a taped message to his brother-in-law, who was barricaded in a Las Vegas apartment Tuesday after allegedly shooting two Metro Police officers, urging him to surrender.
The tape was played for Jermaine Fuller over the phone as he remained holed up in an apartment at Maryland Parkway and Reno Avenue during the nearly 11-hour standoff with police. The 29-year-old rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, tried to persuade Fuller to leave the Camelot Apartment unit peacefully.
"Do what they say. We've got lawyers to take care of this. We'll take care of it," the rapper said on the tape according to police officials.
But hours after the tape was played, Fuller, 29, was found dead about 10:40 a.m. Tuesday in the bathroom of the apartment he broke into. He died either of a self-inflicted gunshot wound or a wound sustained earlier.
Police said none of the officers involved in the standoff and the initial encounter with Fuller fired. An autopsy scheduled for today will determine the cause of death.
David Fox, Broadus' attorney, said Fuller was the brother of the rapper's wife, Shante.
"Snoop and Shante and the rest of the family are together and grieving," said Fox, who did not have any other information on Fuller.
The officers' encounter with Fuller started Monday about 11:20 p.m. when someone told police a man was firing a gun in the area of Maryland Parkway and Reno Avenue. An officer saw Fuller, who matched the description of the suspect, in the area of a nearby bus stop and got out of his police car to talk to him.
Detectives are still investigating exactly what happened, but Lt. Tom Monahan of the homicide unit said Fuller and the officer started to scuffle. Fuller is accused of shooting the officer in the head and in the chest.
The officer, whose name had not been released by this morning, was wearing a bullet-resistant vest.
"In this case it saved his life," police Lt. David O'Leary said.
The 32-year-old officer was released from University Medical Center after treatment for a deep graze wound starting at his temple. Detectives are expected to talk with the officer today to determine why the scuffle happened.
A second officer arrived and saw the wounded officer on the ground. Fuller is accused of firing a shot at him that went through the police car's windshield and across the second officer's shoulder, "shredding the fabric" of his uniform shirt as the bullet passed, but not wounding him, Monahan said.
Police allege Fuller then fled the area and broke into an apartment, holding two men hostage. As police were searching the area for Fuller, the hostages were able to escape unharmed from the apartment and were spotted by police about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Monahan said.
"The hostages said he was bleeding from a wound to the arm," Monahan said. "We don't know if he got that wound during the (scuffle) with the officer or how he got that wound."
Fuller apparently contacted area television stations during the standoff, saying he was a relative of Snoop Dogg and wanted to talk with the rapper as police were trying to negotiate with him.
Metro Police asked Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies to go to the rapper's home to see if he would call police negotiators in Las Vegas. The rapper was given a number and called officers at the scene.
"He was very cooperative with us," said Sgt. Christopher Darcy, a police negotiator. "He encouraged (Fuller) to cooperate with us. We try to use every available resource to calm the situation."
But after the tape was played, Fuller continued to fire shots inside the apartment.
When SWAT officers entered the apartment they found that doors had been fortified with the furniture inside. Fuller had also barricaded himself inside a bathroom, Monahan said.
"When the SWAT entered the apartment he was barricaded in the bathroom and they could actually see him firing at them," Monahan said. None of the officers were hit and they didn't return fire.
SWAT officers used tear gas and concussion grenades, but Fuller didn't come out. He was found dead in the bathroom when officers pulled down the barricades. At least two guns were found on him, police said.
Police still don't know why the first shots in the neighborhood were fired or if Fuller lived in Las Vegas. He has not been arrested by area police before.
Snoop Dogg married his longtime girlfriend, Fuller's sister Shante, in June 1997, a few years after scoring huge success with his debut album "Doggystyle." His second album, "Doggfather," didn't sell nearly as well, but was also was a hit.
The rapper was arrested in 1993 in connection with a drive-by shooting death, and acquitted in 1996.