Man charged 27 years after Tupac Shakur shooting


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Las Vegas police have charged a man over the deadly 1996 drive-by shooting of Tupac Shakur, a long-awaited break in a case that has frustrated investigators and fascinated the public ever since the US hip-hop icon was gunned down on the Las Vegas Strip 27 years ago.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis was arrested early on Saturday morning (AEDT) although the exact charge or charges were not immediately clear.

It was later announced the former gang leader had been charged.

“Today justice will be served in the murder of Tupac Shakur,” said District Attorney Steve Wolfson at a media briefing.

“After working for months on the case, we have decided that there was sufficient evidence to justify for this criminal indictment.

“Tupac Shakur is a music legend and both this community and worldwide have been wanting justice for Tupac. Today we have taken this first step for justice.”

Davis has long been known to investigators and has himself admitted in interviews and in his 2019 tell-all memoir Compton Street Legend that he was in the Cadillac where the gunfire erupted during the September 1996 drive-by shooting.

The arrest comes two months after Las Vegas police raided his wife’s home on July 17 in neighbouring Henderson.

Documents said police were looking for items “concerning the murder of Tupac Shakur”.

Police reported collecting multiple computers, a mobile phone and hard drive, a Vibe magazine that featured Shakur, several .40-calibre bullets, two “tubs containing photographs” and a copy of Davis’ 2019 memoir.

In the book, Davis said he broke his silence over Tupac’s killing in 2010 during a closed-door meeting with federal and local authorities.

At the time, he was 46 and facing life in prison on drug charges when he agreed to speak with the authorities.

“They promised they would shred the indictment and stop the grand jury if I helped them out,” he wrote.

He has described himself as one of the last living witnesses to the shooting.

Shakur was 25 when he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas Strip on the night of September 7, 1996.

The rapper was in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight in a convoy of about 10 cars.

They were waiting at a red light when a white Cadillac pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted.

Shakur was shot multiple times and died a week later.

In 2018, after a cancer diagnosis, Davis admitted publicly in an interview for a BET show to being inside the Cadillac during the attack.

He implicated his nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, saying he was one of two people in the back seat where the shots were fired.

The shooting happened shortly after a casino brawl earlier in the evening involving Anderson, Shakur and others.

Anderson denied any involvement in the Shakur shooting.

He died two years later in a shooting in Compton, California.

Shakur’s death came as his fourth solo album, All Eyez on Me, remained on the charts, with five million copies sold.

Nominated six times for a Grammy Award, Shakur is largely considered one of the most influential and versatile rappers of all time.

Shakur was feuding at the time with rap rival Biggie Smalls, also known as the Notorious BIG., who was fatally shot in March 1997.

At the time, both rappers were in the middle of a US east coast-west coast rivalry that primarily defined the hip-hop scene during the mid-1990s.

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