Bone Thugs Speak Out On Biggie Murder

March 13 [7:55 EST] -- The body of rapper Chris Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G. (or Biggie Smalls), was scheduled to be flown home to New York City on Wednesday from Los Angeles where he was gunned down on the street early Sunday morning, after leaving a "Vibe" magazine party.

The L.A.P.D. has assigned 20 detectives to interview the 200 witnesses to the slaying, in which an unidentified assailant said to be a black man in his 20s pulled up alongside a car in which the 24-year-old rapper was sitting, and shot him several times.

A composite drawing of the killer should be released next week.

Bone Thugs N' Harmony (who appear on Biggie's upcoming double album, "Life After Death," due out March 25) have issued a statement about the tragedy, calling the fallen rapper "a good man," and said, "We have to come together, because we can't afford to lose even one more brother or sister."

As MTV News Online reported yesterday, Puffy Combs, the head

of Biggie's label, Bad Boy Entertainment, said in a statement that the rapper was, "One of my closest friends... words can't express my pain."

No date is yet known for a funeral for Biggie, although it will apparently be held at Manhattan's Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home.

Police are said to be planning a heavy presence.