New Orleans police officer Robert Hoobler known in the Crescent City as “Uncle Bob” is being mourned by rapper Lil Wayne who has frequently shared that it was him who saved his life after a suicide attempt at only 12 years old.
“Everything happens for a reason. I was dying when I met u at this very spot,” the rapper wrote on Instagram sharing a photo of Hoobler. “U refused to let me die. 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.”
The 65-year-old retired cop was diabetic and according to Nola.com, he had been suffering from lingering health issues. Hoobler had recently had both legs amputated due to diabetes.
It was Hoobler who was one of the first responders to the Hollygrove apartment of a young Dwayne Carter, Jr. who had shot himself in the chest with a 9mm pistol on Nov. 11, 1994. He has sometimes called the incident an accident and sometimes referred to it as a suicide attempt.
Either way, Hoobler, who was off duty at the time, responded with five other officers and when no ambulance was available—he drove the boy to a nearby hospital. “Stay awake, son. You’re going to be fine. You’ll see,” Hoobler said, according to a report from Nola.com.
In an interview with former NFL star Emmanuel Acho on his Uncomfortable Conversations podcast, the 5-time Grammy Award winning rapper said that he called police before shooting himself in the chest. He said of the police response, “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,” the rapper said. “One of them yelled, ‘I got the drugs,’ and that’s when he went crazy. He was like, ‘I don’t give a fuck about no drugs! Do you not see the baby on the ground?!’”
He has regularly shared that he has kept in close communication with Hoobler and defended their close relationship during the summer of protests against police brutality in 2020 saying that his relationship with Hoobler influences his view of police, per Page Six.
Hoobler retired from the NO Police Department and started working at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in 2009. He was fired and charged with malfeasance in office in 2012, for shooting a man he was arresting with a stun gun. He took a plea deal and served probation, and later received a pardon due to being a first offender. However, his coworkers says that the Lil Wayne story characterizes who he was as a person, David Lapene added, “He was always people forward,” Lapene said of Hoobler. “He took care of the public just as much as he took care of the cops.”