Man, 60, charged with murdering rapper Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas
A Nevada grand jury indicted Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis over the killing inn 1996.
One of the last living witnesses to the drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas in 1996 has been charged with murder.
The charges represent a long-awaited breakthrough in a case that has frustrated investigators and fascinated the public ever since the hip-hop star was killed.
A Nevada grand jury indicted Duane “Keffe D” Davis over the killing, prosecutors announced in court on Friday.
Davis has long been known to investigators and has 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.
Clark County chief deputy district attorney Marc DiGiacomo described Davis as the “on-ground, on-site commander” who “ordered the death” of Shakur.
The charges were revealed hours after Davis, 60, was arrested on Friday morning while on a walk near his home in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, according to Mr DiGiacomo.
The arrest comes two months after Las Vegas police raided Davis’s home on July 17. 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 tell-all 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 some 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 B.I.G., who was fatally shot in March 1997. At the time, both rappers were in the middle of an East Coast-West Coast rivalry that primarily defined the hip-hop scene during the mid-1990s.
Greg Kading, a retired Los Angeles police detective who spent years investigating the Shakur killing and wrote a book about it, said he would not be surprised by Davis’s indictment and arrest.
“It’s so long overdue,” Mr Kading told The Associated Press during a recent interview. “People have been yearning for him to be arrested for a long time. It’s never been unsolved in our minds. It’s been unprosecuted.”
Mr Kading said he interviewed Davis in 2008 and 2009 during Los Angeles police investigations of the killings of Shakur in Las Vegas and the death of Biggie Smalls.