By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 11, 2003 10:00 AM

An unknown assailant opened fire in Los Angeles Thursday, spraying a convoy of five cars — one of which was carrying Snoop Dogg, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities say the rapper (real name: Calvin Broadus), 31, was ambushed while driving along Fairfax Avenue at about 9 p.m. Two of the cars in his caravan were hit by bullets, and one of Snoop Dogg’s bodyguards was injured.

The musician — who was accompanied by seven bodyguards — was not hurt. It’s not known whether the injured guard was traveling in the same car as the rapper.

Police Sgt. Brian Owen tells AP that it appeared one of the gunmen wished to speak with the rapper, and words were exchanged before the bullets started flying. An off-duty police officer with the Inglewood Unified School District, who was serving as a bodyguard, was hit in the back. He was taken to a hospital and released early Friday.

Hours after the incident, the intersection where it took place remained taped off as police combed the vicinity with dogs and flashlights, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Snoop Dogg, his bodyguards and others in the entourage were questioned by police. Neither the rapper nor his entourage were expected to be booked for any crime, Owens tells AP.

This hardly the first scrape for the rapper, whose own past with gang violence fueled many of the lyrics in his hit records.

During the height of his popularity in February 1996, Snoop Dogg and bodyguard McKinley Lee were acquitted of murder charges in the August 1993 fatal shooting of a young man in Los Angeles. The pair claimed they opened fire in self-defense.

Lately, however, the rapper has tried to step away from his gangsta past, settling down with a wife and two kids and recently announcing that he has stopped smoking marijuana.