UNITED STATES NEWS

Witness charged with murder in 1996 shooting death of rapper Tupac Shakur

Sep 29, 2023, 12:32 PM | Updated: 1:46 pm

Tupac Shakur, left, and Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight attend a voter registration ...

Tupac Shakur, left, and Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight attend a voter registration event in Los Angeles, California, on Aug. 15, 1996. Shakur was killed later that year, and the first arrest in the case was made Sept. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Frank Wiese, File)

(AP Photo/Frank Wiese, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man who prosecutors say orchestrated the 1996 drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur was arrested and charged with murder Friday in a long-awaited breakthrough in one of hip-hop’s most enduring mysteries.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis, 60, has long been known to investigators as one of four suspects identified early in the investigation. He isn’t the accused gunman but was described as the “shot caller” by authorities Friday at a news conference and in court.

Davis himself admitted in interviews and in his 2019 tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend,” that he provided the gun used in the drive-by shooting.

Police homicide Lt. Jason Johansson said Davis’ own public comments revived the investigation by providing police with “admissible evidence.”

Davis was arrested early Friday while on a walk near his home on the outskirts of Las Vegas, hours before prosecutors announced in court that a Nevada grand jury had indicted the self-described “gangster” on one count of murder with a deadly weapon.

The grand jury also voted to add a sentencing enhancement to the murder charge for gang activity that if he’s convicted, could add up to 20 additional years.

The first-ever arrest in the case came more than two months after Las Vegas police raided Davis’ home in the nearby city of Henderson for items they described at the time as “concerning the murder of Tupac Shakur.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Davis has an attorney who can comment on his behalf. Prosecutors said they did not know if he had a lawyer and several local attorneys said they did not know who from Las Vegas would represent him. Phone and text messages to Davis and his wife on Friday and in the months since the July 17 search weren’t returned.

“For 27 years the family of Tupac Shakur has been waiting for justice,” Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill said at a news conference Friday. “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.”

Prosecutors said they have been in contact with the rapper’s family and that they “are pleased with this news.”

On the night of Sept. 7, 1996, Shakur was in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight. They were waiting at a red light near the Las Vegas Strip when a white Cadillac pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted.

Shakur was shot multiple times and died a week later at the age of 25.

Davis, in his memoir, said he was in the front passenger seat of the Cadillac and had slipped a gun into the back seat, from where he said the shots were fired.

He implicated his nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, saying he was one of two people in the backseat. Anderson, a known rival of Shakur, had been involved in a casino brawl with the rapper shortly before the shooting.

After the casino brawl, “Mr. Davis formulated a plan to exact revenge upon Mr. Knight and Mr. Shakur” in his nephew’s defense, Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo said.

Anderson died two years later. He denied any involvement in Shakur’s death.

Emails seeking comment from two lawyers who have previously represented Knight were not immediately returned. Knight was grazed by a bullet fragment in the shooting but had only minor injuries. He is serving a 28-year prison sentence in California for an unrelated voluntary manslaughter charge.

On the night of July 17, Las Vegas police quietly surrounded the home where Davis and his wife, Paula Clemons, live in the nearby city of Henderson. Police lapel video obtained by AP showed SWAT officers detaining a man and his wife outside the home lit up by a swirl of red and blue lights after announcing their presence on a bullhorn. The couple’s faces are blurred in the videos.

Messages left Friday for Clemons weren’t immediately returned.

Police reported collecting 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.

Greg Kading, a retired Los Angeles police detective who spent years investigating the Shakur killing and wrote a book about it, said he’s not surprised by Davis’ arrest.

“All the other direct conspirators or participants are all dead,” Kading said. “Keffe D is the last man standing among the individuals that conspired to kill Tupac.”

The rapper’s death came as his fourth solo album, “All Eyez on Me,” remained on the charts, with some 5 million copies sold. Nominated six times for a Grammy Award, Shakur is still largely considered one of the most influential and versatile rappers of all time.

United States News

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

2 hours ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Idaho group says it is exploring a ballot initiative for abortion rights and reproductive care

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A new Idaho organization says it will ask voters to restore abortion access and other reproductive health care rights in the state after lawmakers let a second legislative session end without modifying strict abortion bans that have been blamed for a recent exodus of health care providers. “We have not been […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

An Alabama prison warden is arrested on drug charges

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — The warden of an Alabama prison was arrested Friday on drug charges, officials with the state prison system confirmed. Chadwick Crabtree, the warden at Limestone Correctional Facility, was charged with the manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

South Africa man convicted in deaths of 2 Alaska Native women faces revocation of U.S. citizenship

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal prosecutors want to revoke the U.S. citizenship of a South Africa man convicted of killing two Alaska Native women for allegedly lying on his naturalization application for saying he had neither killed nor hurt anyone. Brian Steven Smith, 52, was convicted earlier this year in the deaths of the two […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

10-year-old boy confesses to fatally shooting a man in his sleep 2 years ago, Texas authorities say

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A 10-year-old boy has confessed to an unsolved killing in Texas, telling investigators that he shot a man he did not know while the victim slept, authorities said Friday. The boy, who was just shy of his eighth birthday when the man was shot two years ago, has been evaluated at […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Witness charged with murder in 1996 shooting death of rapper Tupac Shakur