Tupac Shakur: Las Vegas police charge man with 1996 shooting of rapper | US News

A man has been charged in Las Vegas with the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur.

The hip-hop star – regarded as one of the most influential rappers of all time – was shot dead in the Nevada city in September 1996.

However, his shooter has never been identified, and the case has frustrated investigators and fascinated the public ever since.

A Nevada grand jury has now indicted 60-year-old Duane “Keffe D” Davis on a charge of murder with use of a deadly weapon.

This booking photo provided by the Las Vegas Police Department shows Duane ...Keffe D... Davis, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Las Vegas. Davis was charged in the 1996 murder of rapper Tupac Shakur. (Las Vegas Police Department via AP)
Duane “Keffe D” Davis. Pic: Las Vegas Police Department via AP

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sheriff, Kevin McMahill, said Tupac’s family had been waiting 27 years for justice.

“This investigation started on 7 September 1996. It is far from over,” he said in a press conference on Friday.

“While I know there’s been many people who did not believe that the murder of Tupac Shakur was important to this police department, I’m here to tell you that is simply not the case.

“Our goal has always been to hold those accountable and responsible for Tupac’s violent murder, accountable.”

‘Leader and shot caller’

Davis is the uncle of Orlando Anderson – one of Tupac’s known rivals – who authorities had long suspected in the rapper’s death.

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‘Justice will be served in murder of Tupac’

Anderson was involved in a casino brawl involving Tupac and his associates on the night of the star’s death.

He denied any involvement in the rapper’s killing at the time, and died two years later in an unrelated gang shooting.

Davis, who at the time was a member of the South Side Compton Crips gang, admitted in previous interviews and in his 2019 tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend” that he was in the car allegedly used in the attack.

Homicide Lieutenant Jason Johansson, of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, called Davis the “leader and shot caller” of the gang.

He said Davis had planned the attack as “retaliation” for the earlier incident in the casino involving Anderson.

“Little did anyone know that it is this incident that would ultimately lead to the retaliatory shooting of Tupac Shakur,” Lt Johansson told the press conference.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson speaks during a news conference on an indictment in the 1996 murder of rapper Tupac Shakur, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson. Pic: AP

“Word spread among the South Side Compton Crips about what had occurred [in the casino].

“That is when Davis began to devise a plan to obtain a firearm and retaliate for what occurred against Anderson.”

‘Comments reinvigorated our investigation’

Tupac was shot on the night of 7 September 1996, while in a black BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight.

The pair were driving to a nightclub in a convoy after watching the Mike Tyson versus Bruce Seldon world heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas.

They were waiting at a red light, a block from the Las Vegas Strip, when a white Cadillac pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted.

Tupac, who was shot multiple times, died on 12 September. He was aged 25.

At the time of his death, Tupac was one of the leading figures in the West Coast hip-hop scene, with hits including “California Love” and “Dear Mama”.

Read more:
Tupac to be honoured in California
Who is hip-hop star Tupac Shakur?

Known by his stage name 2Pac, the New York-born rapper found fame with his debut album 2Pacalypse Now and was nominated for six Grammy Awards throughout his music career.

There were many witnesses to the shooting, but the investigation quickly stalled, in part because those witnesses refused to cooperate, Las Vegas police said in the past.

Until Friday, there had never been any arrests in the case.

Lt Johansson said detectives knew most of the information in the case in the months following Tupac’s shooting, but “never had the necessary evidence” to press charges.

He said detectives had been “reinvigorated” by the information Davis had provided to the media in interviews around the release of his memoirs.

Las Vegas Clarke Country District Attorney Steve Wolfson added: “Today, justice will be served in the murder of Tupac Shakur.

“Tupac Shakur is a music legend and for a long time this community, and worldwide, have been wanting justice for Tupac. Today we are taking that first step.”

Pic: AP
Pic: AP

In July, police searched a property which public records, including voting records, linked to Mr Davis through his wife.

At the time, police confirmed officers had served a search warrant in Henderson, a city near Las Vegas.

Police were looking for items “concerning the murder of Tupac Shakur,” according to the search warrant.

However, the department did not release any other details, including where officers were searching and whether they expected to make an arrest.

The Associated Press (AP), which first reported the arrest of Mr Davis off the back of information from two unnamed sources, said Mr Davis had not responded to multiple phone and text messages from the press agency seeking comment since the raid in July.

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