Police make arrest tied to Tupac Shakur's killing

Duane "Keffe D" Davis claims to have been in the car from which Tupac was shot in September 1996

Tupac Shakur was killed in 1996 in Las Vegas (photo: DW)
Tupac Shakur was killed in 1996 in Las Vegas (photo: DW)


A Nevada grand jury on Friday, 29 September indicted a former gang leader with the 1996 killing of hip hop musician and actor Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas.

Duane "Keffe D" Davis was charged with one count of murder with a deadly weapon, Marc DiGiacomo, the chief deputy district attorney in Clark County in the US state of Nevada, said in court on Friday.

DiGiacomo said the suspect was arrested outside his home earlier Friday and was in police custody.

In July, police announced a house search conducted in connection to what for years had seemed like a cold case.

DiGiacomo called Davis the "on-ground, on-site commander" and said he "ordered the death" of Shakur.

Homicide Lieutenant Jason Johansson called Davis the "leader and shot caller."

"For 27 years the family of Tupac Shakur has been waiting for justice," Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill said. "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."

Who is the man charged with Tupac's murder?

Duane "Keffe D" Davis claims to have been in the car from which Tupac was shot in September 1996 and wrote about his version of events in his memoir "Compton Street Legend."

Davis, now 60, was a member of a Compton gang in Los Angeles in the 1990s called the South Side Compton Crips.

He has in the past alleged that a bounty put out on Tupac by rival rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs (known at the time as Puff Daddy) ultimately led to his death.

According to Davis' version of events, he was in the white Cadillac from which Tupac was shot when another man, Orlando Andersen, fired the shots. Andersen was shot and killed in an unrelated gang shootout in 1998 at the age of 23.

But details of the shooting are disputed to this day. Others have said the motive lay in a fight that Tupac and his entourage had been involved in with a rival gang a few hours earlier, with the shooting meant to serve as retribution.

The residence Las Vegas police searched in the nearby suburb of Henderson in July belonged to Davis' wife.

Police said they collected multiple computers, a cellphone and hard drive, a Vibe magazine that featured Shakur, several .40-caliber bullets, two "tubs containing photographs" and a copy of Davis' memoir.

Shot in 1996, succumbed to injuries days later

Shakur was wounded in a drive-by shooting on 7 September, 1996, and died in a hospital six days later at the age of 25. He was an award-winning rapper, activist and actor who sold more than 75 million records worldwide, many of them posthumously.

Although New York-born, he also signed for the West Coast record company Death Row Records and became the face of their rivalry with the East Coast label Bad Boy Entertainment.

His rivalry with East Coast rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (also known as Biggie Smalls, born Christopher Wallace) was a catalyst in his fame and was even blamed by some for his death. Some six months after Shakur's death, The Notorious B.I.G. was also shot dead.

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Published: 30 Sep 2023, 9:58 AM