A man who has long claimed to be one of the last people to see Tupac Shakur alive was charged Friday with the rapper’s murder after prosecutors said he was the “gunman” in a “revenge” shooting drive-by shooting in 1996.
Duane “Keffe D” Davis, 60, was indicted by a grand jury in Clark County, Nevada, on a charge of murder with the use of a deadly weapon in connection with the Sept. 7, 1996, shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. His arrest was first reported by The Associated Press.
“This is undoubtedly a pivotal moment,” the rapper’s sister, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “The silence of the last 27 years surrounding this case has spoken loudly in our community. It is important to me that the world, the country, the justice system and our people recognize the gravity of the death of this man, my brother, my mother’s son, my father’s son. His life and death are important and should not go unresolved or unrecognized. That’s why today is a victory, but I will reserve judgment [sic] until all facts and legal proceedings have been concluded.
“Multiple hands were involved and so much remains regarding the life and death of my brother Tupac and our Shakur family,” Sekyiwa added. “We seek real justice on all fronts.”
During a court hearing on Friday, Assistant District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo said Davis was arrested outside his home early that morning after a grand jury spent months working on the Shakur case. He said that Davis – described as a “five-star general” for a local gang – did not pull the trigger himself but formulated the plan to go after Shakur and Death Row Records co-founder Marion “Suge” Knight. “to avenge”. a fight involving Davis’ nephew Orlando Anderson at the MGM Hotel.
Davis was the “on-scene commander of the effort to kill Mr. Tupac Shakur and Suge,” DiGiacomo said in court.
DiGiacomo claimed that to carry out his plan, Davis purchased a .45-caliber Glock from an associate and then drove in two cars with several other people to Club 662, where Shakur was scheduled to perform a concert later that evening.
When Shakur and Knight didn’t show up immediately, Davis allegedly left, went to a local liquor store and changed cars to join several others in a white Cadillac.
DiGiacomo claimed that Davis was sitting in the passenger seat and passed the gun to one of the people in the back seat. In his memoir, Davis said that Anderson, a known rival of Shakur, was also in the back seat. The indictment states that Terrance Brown, aka “Bubble Up,” and Deandre Smith, or “Big Dre,” were also in the car at the time.
While driving, DiGiacomo said in court, Davis’ car happened to “see the caravan that included Mr. Knight and Mr. Shakur.” At a red light near the Las Vegas Strip, Davis’ car allegedly stopped next to Shakur and Knight’s BMW, and the “rear passenger fired multiple shots from that vehicle,” DiGiacomo said. The shots hit Shakur several times and Knight in the head.
Lt. Jason Johansson said Davis was the only living suspect in Shakur’s murder. “All other three suspects are deceased,” he said. “Duane Davis was the shooter of this group of people who committed this crime. He orchestrated the plan that was carried out to commit this crime.”
Davis has long been linked to Shakur’s death — and even admitted in interviews and in his 2019 memoir that he was in the other car during the shooting.
In the memoirs Compton Street legend, Davis said he told authorities in 2010 that he witnessed the murder. At that time, Davis was charged with drug offenses. “They promised that if I helped them, they would destroy the indictment and stop the grand jury,” he wrote in the book, according to the AP.
DiGiacomo also noted in court Friday that Davis spoke publicly about his role in Shakur’s death at least eight times in 2019 to promote his book. In various versions of the story, Davis “admits that he is in fact the person who ordered the death of Mr. Shakur and the attempted murder of Mr. Knight,” DiGiacomo said.
In July, authorities executed a search warrant at Davis’ wife’s Henderson home in connection with the Shakur case. The search warrant, obtained by CNN, names Davis and says police were looking for electronic devices, photos, letters and other documents. CNN reported that police ultimately took computers, marijuana and a copy Mood magazine that featured Shakur and a copy of Davis’ memoirs.
Davis is scheduled to appear in Clark County District Court on Oct. 4.
“Tupac Shakur is a music legend and the world longs for justice,” District Attorney Steve Wolfson said during a news conference Friday announcing the arrest. “Today justice will be served for the murder of Tupac Shakur.”