After nearly three decades of relentless investigation, United States homicide detectives have made a significant breakthrough in the unsolved murder case of iconic rapper Tupac Shakur. The tragic drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Strip that claimed Shakur’s life on September 7, 1996, left a void in the hearts of fans worldwide. However, on Friday, authorities finally announced a major development – a Clark County grand jury has issued a murder indictment against Duane “Keffe D” Davis.
Las Vegas Sheriff Kevin McMahill reassured the public, saying, “Many people who did not believe the murder of Tupac Shakur was important to this police department, I am here to tell you: That was simply not the case.” Authorities unveiled the timeline and evidence that led to Davis’s indictment, including crucial information gleaned from interviews he gave to various media outlets.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson revealed in a news conference on Friday that Davis would appear in court in the coming days to determine his custody status and set a trial date. Davis faces charges of one count of open murder with the use of a deadly weapon, enhanced by gang involvement.
At 60 years old, Davis stands as the last remaining suspect in the case, having eluded authorities for nearly three decades. But who is this man who has remained elusive for so long?
According to police, Davis held a leadership role in the South Side Compton Crips gang when he began plotting revenge against Tupac Shakur. In 2019, he published a revealing memoir titled “Compton Street Legend,” in which he detailed his rise within the notorious South California gang, ultimately becoming a “shot caller” and overseeing a multi-million-dollar drug operation spanning the nation. Born in Watts, California, Davis and his family later moved to Compton, a once-middle-class neighborhood for Black families. He recounted how his father’s winnings at the Agua Caliente Race track in Tijuana, Mexico, provided the family with $50,000, equivalent to $1 million today, enabling them to buy a house in Compton and two new cars. However, as the African-American family moved in, white families gradually departed, leaving them as the sole Black residents on their block in 1965.
Davis, one of twelve siblings, grew up surrounded by family but faced immense personal challenges. His mother succumbed to colon cancer in 1980 when Davis was just 15. In 2014, he battled the same cancer, which is now in remission. Tragedy further struck his family with the deaths of two brothers, one to cancer and another to street violence. Davis’s connection to Marion “Suge” Knight, CEO of Death Row Records, began when he was just nine years old. He acknowledged becoming involved with the Crips in 1971, largely influenced by peer pressure and neighborhood dynamics. Despite initially working at Compton College, Davis turned to drug dealing due to its rapid financial returns, marking the start of his criminal activities.
Davis revealed that he served time in prison from 1985 to 1989, an experience that further solidified his criminal identity. He outlined his interactions with authorities regarding Shakur’s murder, noting that, at the age of 46 and facing federal drug charges, he cooperated with law enforcement to potentially avoid prosecution.
So, how is Duane “Keffe D” Davis allegedly connected to Tupac Shakur’s murder?
Three other individuals believed to have been in the white Cadillac on the night of Shakur’s shooting have since passed away, leaving Davis as the sole surviving suspect. The fateful evening of the shooting, Shakur and members of his entourage were in attendance at the Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. It was there that Shakur and Knight encountered Davis’s nephew, Orlando Anderson, resulting in a physical altercation captured on surveillance footage. Hotel staff intervened to halt the brawl, but news of the incident reached Davis, prompting him to devise a retaliatory plan.
Davis allegedly procured a firearm from a close associate and enlisted Orlando Anderson, Terrance Brown, and Deandre Smith to accompany him in the infamous white Cadillac. In July 17, Las Vegas police executed a search warrant at Davis’s residence in Henderson, Nevada. Detectives reported seizing multiple computers, 40-caliber bullets, photograph-filled tubs, a cellphone, and a hard drive. Additionally, they confiscated a magazine featuring Shakur and a copy of Davis’s memoir, “Compton Street Legend.”