Oct 2, 2023 2 min read

Police announce arrest in Tupac Shakur murder investigation

Las Vegas police have arrested a man in relation to the 1996 murder of rapper Tupac Shakur. Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis has long been linked to the case and prosecutors now say that they have evidence that he "ordered the death" of Shakur

Police announce arrest in Tupac Shakur murder investigation

Police in Las Vegas have charged a man with the 1996 murder of rapper Tupac Shakur. Suspect Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis was indicted on Friday.

A former leader of the South Side Compton Crips gang, he was arrested near his home and appeared before a grand jury in Nevada the same day. Prosecutor Marc DiaGiacomo said in court that he was the "on-ground, on-site commander" who "ordered the death" of Shakur.

Announcing the arrest at a press conference, Kevin McMahill - Sheriff at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department - said that “for 27 years the family of Tupac Shakur have been waiting for justice”.

“There have been many people who did not believe that the murder of Tupac Shakur was important to this police department”, he went on. “I’m here to tell you: that was simply not the case. Our goal at LVMPD has always been to hold those responsible for Tupac’s violent murder accountable”.

Security video footage from the lobby of the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, recorded on the night of Shakur’s murder in 1996, was shown at the press conference. In it, a group of men, including the rapper, are seen attacking Orlando Tive ‘Baby Lane’ Anderson, a member of the South Side Compton Crips and Davis’s nephew.

“It is this incident right here that would ultimately lead to the retaliatory shooting and death of Tupac Shakur”, police officer Jason Johansson explained.

Shakur and his associates had been at the hotel to watch a boxing match. One of the group saw Anderson and told Shakur that he had tried to rob him earlier that year. A fight ensued, which was ultimately broken up by hotel security. Later that night, a car pulled up alongside the vehicle in which Shakur was travelling and opened fire, hitting the rapper four times. He later died in hospital.

Anderson was named as the shooter by the Los Angeles Times in 2002, but he had been killed in an unrelated shooting in 1998. He had been interviewed by police once after Shakur’s death, but denied any involvement.

Three other men were also accused of being in the car from which Shakur was shot, but Davis is the only one still living. Johansson noted at the press conference that Davis is “the only living suspect related to this case”.

He added that the case had been reviewed a number of times over the years, and that new information that came to light in 2018 had “reinvigorated” the investigation and ultimately led to Davis’s arrest. In particular, he mentioned Davis’s “own admissions” in the media that he had been in the vehicle from which Shakur was shot.

It became clear that the LVMPD was actively investigating Shakur’s murder once again back in July this year, when officers carried out a search at a home in Henderson, the suburb of the city where the rapper was killed. A spokesperson for the police department then confirmed that search was “part of the ongoing Tupac Shakur homicide investigation”.

At the time of his death, Shakur had been involved in a feud with rapper Notorious BIG - real name Christopher Wallace - relating to a robbery at a New York recording studio in 1994, during which Shakur was shot. Shakur claimed that his former friend had prior knowledge of the attack, escalating the East-West Coast rap rivalry.

Wallace was accused a number of times of having some involvement in the shooting that resulted in Shakur’s death, although he always denied this. He himself was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1997.

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