According to the coroner, the gangster rapper was hit with four bullets, and three of them were non-fatal (via NME). One hit him in the left forearm, another hit his back, and another hit him in the left groin, but none affected his organs. If it had been just those three shots, he would have been facing some recovery time, but otherwise, he would have been fine. It was the fourth shot that was the kill shot, though. It entered from his right side, ripping through his colon, left lung, liver, and his heart before it stopped in his left shoulder. That was too much for the medical rescuers to overcome, and he ultimately died.
When it comes to gunfire, there is no exact rhyme or reason why some people can be shot multiple times and survive while others die after one shot. It’s all a matter of physics and luck. That is why someone like Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson can get shot nine times and come out on the other side able to rap and also act in movies (per LAD Bible). Conversely, Biggie Smalls and Tupac are both historical footnotes and cautionary tales about how rap feuds can get deadly and way out of hand.
There were other findings in the report: Smalls was morbidly obese, weighing 395 pounds. His heart was also showing signs of cardiomegaly, he had moderate pulmonary edema, and his size was likely going to be a detriment as he got older. But there’s more.