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Individual Linked to Suspected Shooter in Tupac Shakur's 1996 Homicide Apprehended in Las Vegas

by Venus Sanders

Las Vegas authorities have made a significant breakthrough in the long-standing mystery surrounding the 1996 drive-by shooting of iconic hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur.

Image Credit: Steve.Granitz / Contributor / Getty Images

Duane “Keffe D” Davis, a well-known figure in the case, was apprehended early Friday morning. Although the exact charges were not immediately disclosed, two officials with knowledge of the arrest revealed the development. They spoke on condition of anonymity due to the forthcoming indictment expected later on Friday.

Davis, who had openly admitted his presence in the Cadillac during the fatal 1996 shooting, had long been on investigators' radar. His memoir, "Compton Street Legend," published in 2019, provided further insights into his involvement. In the book, Davis detailed how he had broken his silence regarding Tupac’s killing in 2010 during a closed-door meeting with federal and local authorities. The memoir recounted promises of leniency in his drug-related charges in exchange for his cooperation.

Tupac Shakur was just 25 years old when he was fatally shot during a drive-by shooting on September 7, 1996, near the Las Vegas Strip. The rapper was riding in a BMW driven by Marion “Suge” Knight, the founder of Death Row Records, as part of a convoy of about ten vehicles. While waiting at a red light, a white Cadillac pulled up beside them, and a hail of bullets erupted.

Shakur suffered multiple gunshot wounds and passed away a week later.

In 2018, Davis, following a cancer diagnosis, publicly admitted his presence in the Cadillac during the attack. He implicated his nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, as one of the two individuals in the back seat where the shots were fired. The shooting followed a casino brawl involving Anderson, Shakur, and others earlier that evening.

Despite his admission, Anderson consistently denied any involvement in Shakur’s shooting. Tragically, he was killed two years later in a shooting in Compton, California. Shakur’s death was a significant loss to the music industry, as he was at the height of his career, with his fourth solo album, "All Eyez on Me," still dominating the charts.

Shakur's murder took place during a highly publicized East Coast-West Coast rivalry between him and fellow rapper Biggie Smalls (the Notorious B.I.G.), who was fatally shot in March 1997. The ongoing feud defined the hip-hop scene in the mid-1990s.

Greg Kading, a retired Los Angeles police detective who had extensively investigated the Shakur and Biggie Smalls murders, expressed little surprise at Davis's indictment and arrest. He highlighted the renewed momentum in the case, particularly after Davis's public disclosures in his memoir and interviews.

Kading, who had interviewed Davis in 2008 and 2009, noted that Davis had firmly placed himself at the heart of the conspiracy, stating that he had procured the murder weapon, handed it to the shooter, and was present in the vehicle during the attack on Tupac and Suge Knight.

With Davis being the last surviving witness among those in the vehicle involved in the shooting, Kading believed that the case now had the necessary elements for prosecution. Given the alleged premeditated nature of the crime, Davis could potentially face a first-degree murder charge.

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

The arrest of Duane “Keffe D” Davis brings renewed hope for resolution and justice in a case that has confounded investigators and captivated the public for over two decades.


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