Police arrest alleged mastermind behind Tupac Shakur’s death, 27 years on

  • US police have arrested Duane “Keffe D” Davis over the death of Tupac Shakur more than 27 years ago.
  • Police allege Davis “orchestrated” the plan to kill Shakur.
  • Shakur was killed during a drive-by shooting in 1996.
Las Vegas police in connection to the deadly 1996 drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur.
It’s a long-awaited break in a case that has frustrated investigators and fascinated the public ever since the United States hip-hop icon was gunned down on the Las Vegas Strip 27 years ago.

A grand jury in Clark County, Nevada, returned an indictment charging Duane “Keffe D” Davis with one count of murder with a deadly weapon for his alleged role in leading a group of men to kill Shakur.

Police say Davis ‘orchestrated’ plan

Authorities described Davis as the “shot caller” of a hurried plot to avenge the beating of his nephew, Orlando Anderson, inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena by members of Shakur’s entourage on the night of 7 September, 1996, not long before the shooting.

“He orchestrated the plan that was carried out to commit this crime,” Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Jason Johansson said at a news conference.

Duane “Keffe D” Davis was arrested early on Friday morning. Source: AAP, AP / John Locher

Police showed hotel security footage of several men kicking and punching a person they identified as Anderson near a bank of elevators before security personnel broke up the altercation.

One of those seen attacking Anderson was identified as Marion “Suge” Knight, co-founder and then-CEO of Los Angeles-based Death Row Records, which distributed Shakur’s records.
That incident, Johansson said, led to “the retaliatory shooting death of Tupac Shakur”.
After obtaining a gun from an unnamed associate, Davis, along with Anderson and two other men, Terrence Brown and Deandre Smith, boarded a white Cadillac and rode off to locate the black BMW that Knight had driven away from the hotel with Shakur as his passenger.

When Davis and the others caught up to Shakur and Knight’s vehicle, shots were fired from the Cadillac into the passenger side of the BMW. Shakur, struck four times, died in a hospital six days later at the age of 25.

Tupac Shakur posing for a photo.

The arrest is a long-awaited break in a case that has frustrated investigators and fascinated the public ever since Shakur was gunned down on the Las Vegas Strip 27 years ago. Source: AAP, AP / Todd Plitt

Knight, who was grazed in the head by a bullet fragment but suffered only minor injuries, was sent to prison the following month for violating terms of his probation in a previous assault case when he was caught taking part in the MGM melee.

Not known who fired at Shakur

Authorities did not say who actually fired the gun at Shakur. The other three men who were in the Cadillac with Davis, including his nephew, are all since deceased, they said.
A rival “gangsta” rap star from the New York-based label Bad Boy Records, Christopher Wallace, was shot to death in Los Angeles in March 1997 in a murder that still remains unsolved.

Wallace, who performed as Notorious B.I.G., had become embroiled in an escalating East Coast-West Coast rap feud before his death, and his killing was rumoured to have been a possible act of retaliation for Shakur’s murder months earlier.

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