Police Apologise To Notorious B.I.G.'s Family

Los Angeles police have apologised to the family of the rapper Notorious B.I.G., murdered 15 years ago, after releasing a report about his death without telling them.

Police blamed "an administrative error" for the failure to tell the family of the 24-year-old, whose real name was Christopher Wallace.

Captain Billy Hayes, who heads the Robbery-Homicide Division investigating the killing, said in a statement: "Detectives had intended to notify Mr Wallace's family prior to releasing the report.

"Our detectives personally spoke with the Wallace family ... and apologised for not notifying them."

The hip-hop star died in a drive-by shooting after leaving a music industry event in Los Angeles in 1997 and the case remains unsolved.

LAPD said it hoped that making the coroner's findings would help new information come to light.

"Obviously this has been a challenging case for us to solve. We hope that witnesses or other people with information will come forward and give us the clues we need to solve this case," said Capt Hayes.

The 23-page document details the trajectory of each of the four shots that hit him. One bullet killed the hip-hop star when it tore through his left lung, heart and colon.

The killing has been the subject of police and FBI investigations and remains one of Los Angeles' highest-profile unsolved homicides.

The murder is thought to have been part of a feud between rival record labels.

Federal agents conducted a bi-coastal search for Wallace's killer, but federal prosecutors determined in 2005 that there was not enough evidence to pursue a case.

Agents looked into whether any Los Angeles police officers had been involved in the shooting, which came months after another rap superstar, Tupac Shakur, was shot dead in Las Vegas.

In March 2011, the FBI electronically released files on its investigation, which were heavily redacted but shed new light on the efforts that investigators took to try to find those responsible for the rapper's death.

Agents conducted surveillance and interviews in Los Angeles, San Diego and New York, the files showed.

The deaths of Wallace and Shakur have been the subject of rampant speculation about the motives.

The one-time friends became rivals and instigators in an East Coast-West Coast rap rivalry during the mid-1990s.

Wallace's family filed a federal lawsuit against Los Angeles, and a 2005 trial ended with a mistrial after lawyers for Wallace's family discovered the city had withheld a trove of LAPD documents.

The family dismissed the lawsuit in 2010 in order for the FBI and other agencies to pursue new leads in the case.

The civil case could be refiled, although that has not yet occurred.