A man who police allege ordered the 1996 death of artist Tupac Shakur was arrested and charged with murder on Friday, marking a long-awaited move in one of hip-hop’s longest-running mysteries.
As one of the original four suspects, Duane “Keffe D” Davis has been identified by investigators for some time. Investigators named him as the group’s mastermind on Friday during a news conference and in court, despite the fact that he is not the alleged shooter. In Nevada, you risk being charged with the crime you helped someone commit, including murder.
Lt. Jason Johansson of the Homicide Division of the Las Vegas Police Department stated that “Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of people that committed this crime and he orchestrated the plan that was carried out.”
In interviews and his 2019 tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend,” Davis himself has acknowledged that he supplied the gun used in the drive-by shooting.
Authorities claimed on Friday that the reopening of the inquiry was due to Davis’ own public remarks.
Davis, 60, was detained early on Friday while out for a walk near his home on the outskirts of Las Vegas, just hours before prosecutors disclosed in court thatThe self-described “gangster” has been charged with one count of murder with a deadly weapon by a grand jury in Nevada. He’s have to show up in court next week.
The grand jury also chose to add a sentencing enhancement for gang activity to the murder allegation, which could result in an additional 20 years in prison if he is found guilty.
Hundreds of pages of transcripts made available on Friday give an insight into the first month of grand jury proceedings, which started in late July with evidence from former Davis associates, Shakur friends, and a number of retired police officers who were involved in the case at the beginning. They described to the jury a bitter, growing conflict between Shakur’s record company Death Row Records and Bad Boy Records, which had connections to Davis and represented Shakur’s rap competitor Biggie Smalls.
According to one of Davis’ old associates, “it started the whole West Coast/East Coast” rivalry that predominately characterized the hip-hop culture in the mid-1990s.
The first arrest in the investigation happened when Las Vegas police searched Davis’ home in the nearby city of Henderson in the middle of July for what they said at the time was evidence “concerning the murder of Tupac Shakur.”
A Friday jailhouse interview request from Davis was declined, and there is no listed attorney in the court records who may speak on his behalf. Davis and his wife did not respond to calls or texts placed to them on Friday or in the months following the July 17 search.
The rapper’s sister Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur referred to the arrest as a win in a statement on Friday.
Without a doubt, this is a crucial moment. Our community has heard loud and clear from the quiet surrounding this case over the past 27 years, she claimed. “It’s important to me that everyone recognizes the gravity of the death of this man, who was my brother, my mother’s son, and my father’s son, as well as the nation, the justice system, and our people.”
Shakur was traveling in Marion “Suge” Knight, the creator of Death Row Records,’ BMW on the evening of September 7, 1996. When a white Cadillac came up next to them as they waited at a stop sign near the Las Vegas Strip, gunshots broke out.
Shakur was shot numerous times and passed away at the age of 25 one week later.
In his autobiography, Davis claimed that he was in the Cadillac’s front passenger seat when the shots were fired and that he had smuggled a revolver into the back seat.
He claimed Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, one of the two passengers in the backseat, was responsible. Shortly before the shooting, Shakur and Anderson, a well-known opponent of the rapper, got into a fight in a casino.
The police lieutenant Johansson said, “Little did anyone know that this incident right here would ultimately lead to the retaliatory shooting and death of Tupac Shakur.”
Two attorneys who previously represented Knight did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment. Knight suffered relatively minor wounds from the incident, other than being grazed by a piece of the bullet. In California, he is currently incarcerated for 28 years on a charge of voluntary manslaughter that is unrelated.
The residence where Davis and his wife, Paula Clemons, reside was quietly surrounded by Las Vegas police on the evening of July 17. SWAT officers detained a man and his wife outside the residence lighted by a flurry of red and blue lights after making their presence known on a bullhorn, as seen on police lapel video obtained by The Associated Press. In the videos, the couple’s faces are obscured.
The Vibe magazine that featured Shakur, several.40-caliber bullets, multiple computers, a cellphone, a hard drive, two “tubs containing photographs,” and a copy of Davis’ memoir were all reportedly seized by police.
Davis’ arrest, according to Greg Kading, a retired Los Angeles police officer who spent years looking into the Shakur shooting and authored a book about it.
According to Kading, Davis “put himself squarely in the middle of the conspiracy” and offered the Las Vegas police “the ammunition and leverage to move forward.”
Kading claimed that Davis’ media comments demonstrated the crime was premeditated and that he had also anticipated the murder charge.
In the words of Kading, “all the other direct conspirators or participants are dead.” “Among those who intended to kill Tupac, Keefe D is the last man standing.”
The rapper abruptly killed away while “All Eyez on Me,” his fourth solo album, was still at the top of the charts and had sold roughly 5 million copies. Shakur has received six Grammy Award nominations and is one of the most influential and diverse rappers of all time.