Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Lil Wayne: ‘Farewell Uncle Bob’ – Life Saving Officer Dies in New Orleans

The cop that saved Lil Wayne’s Life after attempted suicide at the age of 12

He refused to quit, he never gave up on me. Even when the EMS did, he brought me with his own hands into the emergency room and demanded the Doctors saved me at all costs!

New Orleans officer who saved rapper Lil Wayne’s life dies at 65

Robert Hoobler suffered from lingering health issues after a car crash led doctors to amputate both of his legs

By Gabriella Killett
The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

NEW ORLEANS — Robert Hoobler, the New Orleans police officer who helped save Lil Wayne’s life when the future rapper shot himself at age 12, has died at age 65, his friends said Saturday.

Hoobler, 65, was found dead Friday in his Old Jefferson home, they said. For several years, he suffered from lingering health issues after a car wreck led doctors to amputate both legs, according to posts on his social media.

David Lapene, a friend and former coworker at the Police Department, said Lil Wayne’s account of Hoobler and officer Kevin Balancier saving his life 27 years ago is “one of the best stories that depicts Hoobler as a person.”

The rapper, born Dwayne Carter Jr., was handling a 9 mm pistol in his mother’s Hollygrove apartment on Nov. 11, 1994, when he shot himself in the chest. Whether it was an accident depends on when the rapper tells the story.

Hoobler heard the police radio report and, although off duty, drove to the scene, as did five other officers. No ambulance was available, so the ranking officer ordered Hobbler to rush the boy to a hospital.

Balancier backed a police car into the apartment driveway and opened the cruiser’s door. Hoobler carried Dwayne to the back seat and lay the badly wounded youth across his lap.


One officer blocked traffic at major intersections, and as Dwayne groaned and bled all over Hoobler, Balancier sped to Ochsner Medical Center, the closest emergency room.

Hoobler spoke to Dwayne during the trip and shook him to keep him alert: “Stay awake, son. You’re going to be fine. You’ll see.”

When they arrived, Balancier opened the door and let Hoobler out. Hoobler put Dwayne on a gurney, and nurses and doctors wheeled him away.


Hoobler went to the restroom at the hospital to wash off what he could. Most of his shirt was tinted dark red.

Lil Wayne has recounted the story in interviews. In one, the Black rapper said he never knew racism because of Hoobler, a White man whom he called “Uncle Bob.”

“He was always people forward,” Lapene said. “He took care of the public just as much as he took care of the cops.”


Lil Wayne Mourns ‘Uncle Bob,’ Former Cop Who Saved Rapper’s Life Following Suicide Attempt

“U refused to let me die,” Lil Wayne wrote in honor of Uncle Bob, the former New Orleans officer who saved the rapper’s life as a kid.

Lil Wayne is mourning the death of former New Orleans police officer Robert Hoobler, whom he endearingly referred to as “Uncle Bob” after he saved the rapper’s life following his suicide attempt at age 12.

“Everything happens for a reason. I was dying when I met u at this very spot. U refused to let me die,” Wayne wrote via Instagram on Monday (July 25) beneath a photo of Hoobler. “Everything that doesn’t happen, doesn’t happen for a reason. That reason being you and faith. RIP uncle Bob. Aunt Kathie been waiting for u. I’ll love & miss u both and live for us all.”

According to The New Orleans Advocate, Hoobler was found dead in his Old Jefferson, La., home. He was 65. His grandson Daniel Nelson said that he suffered from lingering health issues stemming from a car accident and struggled with diabetes, which eventually led to both of his legs being amputated. David Lapene, Hoobler’s former colleague, said Lil Wayne’s story of Hoobler saving his life nearly 30 years ago is “one of the best stories that depicts Hoobler as a person.”

Last August, the rapper, now 39, sat down with Emmanuel Acho, former NFL player and author of Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, to discuss his mental health struggles and open up about his suicide attempt at such a young age. On Nov. 11, 1994, the Young Money MC (real name Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.) had called the police before finding his mother’s gun in her bedroom and putting it to his head. After he had shot himself in the chest and heard the cops pounding on the front door, Wayne described how the blood pouring out of chest made it easy for him to slide his body across the floor before kicking the door to signal to the officers that someone was inside.

“They saw me — they as in the cops — they just jumped clean over me and went through the house, talking about, ‘I found the drugs! I found the gun!’ It took a guy named Uncle Bob, he ran up there and when he got to the top of the steps and saw me there, he refused to even step over me,” said Weezy of Hoobler, who was off-duty at the time and arrived at Wayne’s apartment after he heard the dispatcher on his police radio say there was a boy suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “One of them yelled, ‘I got the drugs!’ And that’s when he went crazy. He was like, ‘I don’t give a f— about no drugs! Do you not see the baby on the ground?!’ … He’s screaming at ’em, and they all came out the other room like, ‘Oh sorry, boss. We called the ambulance.’ He’s like, ‘I don’t give a f—!’ So he called one of their names [and said] ‘Your car, now!’ Picked me up and just kept telling me some sh– like, ‘You’re not gonna die on me, you’re not gonna die on me.’ … And so he got me to the hospital, he brought me there and made sure I was good.”

Wayne continued: “I met him years later. But he was like, ‘I don’t want nothing. I just want to say I’m happy to see that I saved a life that mattered.’”

Read Weezy’s sentimental post below.