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The police officer cradles a man in his arms. That man – the apparent victim of a drive-by in a busy Las Vegas street – looks at the cop, opens his mouth and utters what are to be the final words he will ever speak. After falling into a coma, just short of a week later the man will die from his injuries.

Image: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

That was 1996 – more than 20 years ago. But despite the fact there were nearly 20,000 murders in the United States in the same year, with annual figures remaining above 14,000 ever since, memories of that particular Las Vegas shooting endure. The reason? Because of the lasting fame of the victim: the legendary rapper Tupac Shakur.

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