Tupac Shakur's murder may finally be solved – police charge man almost 30 years on

rapper and actor tupac shakur at a movie premiere in 1996 he is wearing his signature bandana around his head
Tupac Shakur: man charged with murder 30 years onGene Shaw - Getty Images

Twenty seven years after the fatal shooting occurred, Las Vegas police have charged a man in relation to the killing of Tupac Shakur, the legendary rapper and actor.

Police confirmed via the AP news agency that they apprehended Duane 'Keffe D' Davis, 60, on Friday morning (29 September 2023), as he was walking near his home in Nevada. Further reports confirm that Davis has since been charged with one count of murder by using a deadly weapon.

Prosecutor Marc DiaGiacomo described Davis (a once well-known gang leader) as the "on-ground, on-site commander" who "ordered the death" of Shakur (as per the BBC).

Who is Duane 'Keffe D' Davis?

Duane 'Keffe D' Davis is a known member of the South Side Compton Crips gang and was a childhood friend of the notable hip-hop star, Eazy-E. It's said that Davis also had a friendship with Bad Boy Records founder, P Diddy, in the 90s, who discovered and managed Shakur's musical rival, Biggie Smalls (Christopher Wallace).

Davis has long been of interest to police in connection to Shakur's death, and it seems suspicions and investigations were re-ignited after he confessed in his 2019 autobiography, Compton Street Legend, that he was in the Cadillac involved in the rapper's shooting. In the book, Davis also admitted to being in possession of a gun that night.

It's said that Davis' nephew, Orlando Anderson, had a dispute with Shakur in a casino on the day of his killing and former police officer, Greg Kading, who was tasked with investigating Shakur's death, published a book upon his retirement in 2010 suggesting he believes Anderson is the likely killer.

Anderson died in 1998 in another gang-related shooting and always denied wrongdoing. In 2002, an in-depth report by journalist Chuck Philips was published in the Los Angeles Times and alleged: "The shooting was carried out by a Compton gang called the Southside Crips to avenge the beating of one of its members by Shakur a few hours earlier.

"Orlando Anderson, the Crip whom Shakur had attacked, fired the fatal shots. Las Vegas police interviewed Anderson only once as a possible suspect. He was later killed in an unrelated gang shooting." However, this was never proven.

tupac and close friend, snoop dogg, pull up at the 23rd annual american music awards in 1996 in a drop top car pulling gang signs
Tupac and close friend, Snoop Dogg, arrive at the 23rd Annual American Music Awards in 1996Kevin.Mazur - Getty Images

The arrest of Davis comes two months after police raided his wife's home in search of evidence in connection to Shakur's murder. It's said they retrieved multiple computers, a phone, a copy of Vibe magazine featuring Shakur, .40-caliber bullets, tubs of photos and a copy of his memoir.

The murder charge, for many, has been a long time coming – least not for Shakur's millions of fans and police officers who have worked on the case during the span of almost 30 years, some of whom have since retired given that it's dragged on for so long.

Speaking in a press conference on 29 September, Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill said, "For 27 years the family of Tupac Shakur has been waiting for justice. 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."

american actress jada pinkett smith with her arms around rapper tupac shakur
Tupac pictured with close friend, Jada Pinkett Smith in 1996Mychal Watts - Getty Images

When was Tupac murdered?

Shakur (who styled himself as 2Pac) was murdered in Las Vegas in a drive-by shooting on 13 September 1996, some six months before his rap 'rival', the Notorious B.I.G, was tragically killed in a similar fashion in California. Many have speculated over the years that both iconic artists were shot as a result of gang-related violence and have lamented the heart-breaking waste of life and talent.

At the time of his death, Shakur was just 25-years-old. He is widely recognised as being one of the most influential rap artists of all time and was the recipient of six GRAMMY nominations.

During his career, Shakur also released an album under the alias Machiavelli, the same name as a famous Italian philosopher, Niccoló Machiavelli, who advocated faking your death to fool your enemies. After the star's passing, many fans clung on to the conspiracy theory that he hadn't really been fatally shot, but was merely in hiding.

Shakur was best known for hits such as California Love, All Eyez On Me and Changes. He also co-starred alongside Janet Jackson in the film Poetic Justice.

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