“Keffe D” Arrested Last living suspect in 1996 Drive-by shooting of Tupac Shakur indicted in Las Vegas on murder charge

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man who prosecutors say ordered the 1996 killing 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.

Davis Duane Keith Indictment C377407 Tupac Shakur murder


Duane “Keffe D” Davis 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 group’s ringleader by authorities Friday at a news conference and in court. In Nevada you can be charged with a crime, including murder, if you help someone commit the crime.

“Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime,” said Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Jason Johansson, “and he orchestrated the plan that was carried out.”

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

Authorities said Friday that Davis’ own public comments revived the investigation.

Davis, now 60, 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. He is due in court next week.

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

Hundreds of pages of transcripts released Friday provide a view into the first month of grand jury proceedings, which began in late July with testimony from former associates of Davis, friends of Shakur and a slate of retired police officers involved in the case early on. Their testimony painted a picture for the jurors of a deep, escalating rift between Shakur’s music label Death Row Records and Bad Boy Records, which had ties to Davis and represented Shakur’s rap rival, Biggie Smalls.

“It started the whole West Coast/East Coast” rivalry that primarily defined the hip-hop scene during the mid-1990s, one of Davis’ former associates testified.

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

Davis denied an interview request Friday from jail, and court records don’t list an attorney who can comment on his behalf. Phone and text messages to Davis and his wife on Friday and in the months since the July 17 search weren’t returned.

In a statement Friday, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur, the rapper’s sister, described the arrest as a victory.

“This is no doubt a pivotal moment. The silence of the past 27 years surrounding this case has spoken loudly in our community,” she said. “It’s important to me that the world, the country, the justice system, and our people acknowledge the gravity of the passing of this man, my brother, my mother’s son, my father’s son.”

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.

“Little did anyone know that this incident right here would ultimately lead to the retaliatory shooting and death of Tupac Shakur,” said Johansson, the police lieutenant.

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 lives with his wife, Paula Clemons. Police lapel video obtained by The Associated Press 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.

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.

“He put himself squarely in the middle of the conspiracy,” Kading said, adding that Davis himself gave Las Vegas police “the ammunition and leverage to move forward.”

Kading said he had also anticipated the murder charge, because Davis’ public comments showed the crime was premeditated.

“All the other direct conspirators or participants are all dead,” Kading said. “Keefe 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.

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.

The former Los Angeles police detective said he believed the investigation gained new momentum in recent years following Davis’ public descriptions of his role in the killing, including his 2019 memoir.

“It’s those events that have given Las Vegas the ammunition and the leverage to move forward,” Kading said. “Prior to Keffe D’s public declarations, the cases were unprosecutable as they stood.”


The man charged in Tupac Shakur’s 1996 shooting death has long put himself at the crime scene. Here’s what we know about him

By Aya Elamroussi, CNN

Updated 7:50 AM EDT, Sat September 30, 2023

CNN — As far back as 1998, Duane Keith Davis was telling a cable channel that he was a front-seat passenger in a car from which a fellow passenger fired the shots that killed Tupac Shakur.

In 2009, Davis, known as “Keffe D,” confessed to police a role in the case, a former detective who investigated the shooting told CNN, but authorities couldn’t immediately use the information.

And then after what police say was a reinvigorated investigation, Davis, 60, was arrested in Las Vegas on Friday, with a grand jury indicting him in the case on charges of murder with use of a deadly weapon. The arrest comes some 27 years after the rapper was shot as he was leaving a boxing match on the Las Vegas Strip.

Tupac Shakur attends “Cowboy Noir – Red Rock West” Party at Club USA in New York City on April 2, 1994. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Suspect arrested in 1996 Tupac Shakur shooting death

The shooting on September 7, 1996, was a retaliatory attack on the 25-year-old star, police said Friday. Authorities allege Davis plotted and orchestrated the shooting in a matter of hours, after the rapper and others attacked Davis’ nephew that same day.

Davis is the only suspect in the case who still is alive, police say. Davis has said in a memoir that he’s one of two living witnesses – with the other being a record-label boss who was driving Shakur.

“Over the last five years, we’ve conducted countless interviews and corroborated numerous facts that were not only consistent with the crime scene on the night of the incident, but also corroborated and were consistent with the sequence of events that night,” Jason Johansson, a Las Vegas police homicide lieutenant, said during a news conference Friday.

Shakur’s shooting stems from a conflict between two gangs based in Compton, California, police said Friday.

Shakur and Marion “Suge” Knight, then the CEO of the rapper’s label Death Row Records, were affiliated with the Mob Piru gang in Compton, Johansson said. Davis was affiliated with the Southside Compton Crips, he added.

Shakur was in Las Vegas to attend a Mike Tyson boxing match at MGM Grand Hotel – an event that Davis and his nephew Orlando Anderson also attended.

After the match, members of Death Row Records saw Anderson near elevator bank inside the hotel, approached him and began kicking and punching him, Johansson said Friday during the news conference, where he showed hotel surveillance footage of the altercation. Shakur and Knight were visible among the men who attacked Anderson.

Both crews left the hotel after the fight, with Shakur and his group headed to a post-fight party at a nightclub.

When Davis learned of the attack on his nephew, Davis “began to devise a plan to obtain a firearm and retaliate against Suge Knight and Mr. Shakur,” Johansson said.

After securing a gun “from a close associate,” Davis got into a white Cadillac with Terrence Brown, Deandre Smith and Anderson, Johansson said. While in the car, Davis handed the gun “to the passengers in the rear seat of the vehicle,” Johansson said.

Eventually, the group tracked down the car Shakur and Knight were in, drove alongside their black BMW, and gunshots were fired from the Cadillac into the BMW, striking Shakur four times, authorities said. The rapper died six days later.

“Duane Davis was the shot-caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime. He orchestrated the plan that was carried out to commit this crime,” Johansson said.

Anderson and Smith were both in the back of the Cadillac, according to the indictment against Davis, but it does not specify who pulled the trigger. Anderson denied involvement in the killing to CNN before his death in a gang-related shooting in 1998.

Knight is in prison on a manslaughter charge in an unrelated case.

Davis placed himself at crime scene

In a 1998 interview with BET, Davis said he was in the front seat of the car from which the shots were fired.

“Going to keep it for the code of the streets,” Davis replied when asked who pulled the trigger. “It just came from the back seat, bro.”

Then more than a decade later, Davis confessed to police a role in the shooting in 2009, said Greg Kading, a former police detective who investigated the case.

But his statement could not be used as evidence because it was made under a “proffer agreement,” Kading told CNN on Friday. A proffer is an agreement in which a suspect agrees to provide potentially useful information in an investigation, but the statements made generally cannot be used as evidence against the suspect.

Additionally, a memoir penned by Davis – a copy of which was seized in July during a police search of the Nevada home of Davis’ wife – describes Davis and Knight as the only two living witnesses to Shakur’s shooting.

Items seized in July search

During the search of the home, police seized several tablets, an iPhone and five computers. Authorities also took USB and hard drives, photographs and a copy of a magazine issue about Shakur.

At the time, police were looking for “notes, writings, ledgers, and other handwritten or typed documents concerning television shows, documentaries, YouTube episodes, book manuscripts, and movies concerning the murder of Tupac Shakur,” an affidavit requesting a search warrant stated.

The decades-old case gained renewed focus in 2018, particularly because Davis was talking about it publicly, and the emergence of new information, officials said.

“Davis’ own admissions to his involvement in this homicide investigation that he provided to numerous different media outlets” helped reignite the investigation, Johansson said Friday.

Davis participated in a 2018 Netflix documentary on the Shakur homicide, and released his memoir in 2019.

“He began to go out publicly boast about his involvement in the murder, and that led to law enforcement in Las Vegas taking another look at his claims, and ultimately, he’s talked himself right into jail,” Kading, the former detective, told CNN.

“This was likely our last time to take a run at this case to successfully solve this case and bring forth a criminal charge,” Johansson said.

CNN’s Kyung Lah, Jason Kravarik, Josh Campbell, Alishia Ebrahimji, Cheri Mossburg and Scott Glover contributed to this report.


Sources for Report

Last living suspect in 1996 drive-by shooting of Tupac Shakur indicted in Las Vegas on murder charge By RIO YAMAT and KEN RITTER Updated 8:15 PM CDT, September 29, 2023


The man charged in Tupac Shakur’s 1996 shooting death has long put himself at the crime scene. Here’s what we know about him

By Aya Elamroussi, CNN Updated 7:50 AM EDT, Sat September 30, 2023


The man charged in Tupac Shakur’s 1996 shooting death has long put himself at the crime scene. Here’s what we know about him

By Aya Elamroussi, CNN

Updated 7:50 AM EDT, Sat September 30, 2023


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