On the junction of the Las Vegas strip where Tupac Shakur was shot dead in September 1996, only a graffiti-covered lamp post with some scrawls of “RIP Pac” and “Tupac Shakur, I love you,” hint at what unfolded here.
Tupac was rap music’s brightest star when he was shot four times at point-blank range while being driven along one of the city’s busiest streets. He died a week later.
His fame has only increased in the years since and his death is the subject of dozens of books, films and songs.
Until this week, many people had given up believing that police would crack one of America’s great unsolved crimes. But today, in a courtroom just a few miles from where he was killed and 27 years later, a man will enter a plea, charged with Tupac’s murder.
It is a moment Tupac’s family feared they would never see. His brother Mopreme Shakur says he believes Tupac’s murder would not have gone unsolved for so long if he had been white. “Pac was a young black male,” he says, “and we have challenges in this country when it comes to equal justice.
“That’s just the nature of the beast, it’s just the nature of the beast in America. I’m realistic about that.”
Mopreme added: “I was shocked, surprised, and taken aback because it’s been so long.
“We haven’t heard anything in 27 years. My daughter is 27 years old, so any accountability is good at this point.”
The man arrested is Duane Davis, better known in rap circles by his street name Keefe D.
Davis is accused of being the “shot caller” by authorities and is alleged to have handed the gun used to kill Tupac to the shooter.
As early as 1998, he bragged about being at the scene of the crime and wrote a memoir in which he stated he was in the car from where the bullets were fired.
He has long been known to investigators as one of four suspects identified early in the investigation. He isn’t the accused gunman but is described as the group’s ringleader by authorities.
In Nevada you can be charged with a crime, including murder, if you help someone commit the crime.
‘How far are they going to go?’
Mopreme believes others need to be held criminally accountable for his brother’s murder. “It would be a shame after all this time for them not to do this properly,” he says, “meaning that they look at all the connections to it and get the total justice that we want.
“There’s doubt in their sincerity. How far are they going to go? Are they going to go all the way and get all the accomplices?”