A man has been charged by Las Vegas police for the 1996 drive-by shooting that resulted in the death of the rapper Tupac Shakur, nearly three decades after the incident. Duane "Keffe D" Davis was arrested by Las Vegas police on Friday and is currently facing a murder charge involving the use of a deadly weapon.
The New York hip-hop icon was shot four times at the age of 25 in a drive-by attack in Las Vegas. On Friday, a grand jury in Nevada charged Davis, 60, with one count of murder with a deadly weapon. According to the police, Davis planned the fatal shooting after his nephew had a confrontation with Shakur at a casino.
Arrested after Years of Delay
News broke on Friday that Las Vegas police had arrested Duane Davis, also known as Keefe D or Keffe D, who has time and again claimed to have been in the vehicle from which the shots were fired at the rapper, resulting in his death.
The gangster has been openly bragging about his involvement in the murder of the rap icon in both a book and various interviews since 2018.
Davis has recounted multiple times the details of being present in the car when his nephew, Orlando Anderson, carried out the fatal shooting of Tupac on September 7, 1996, along the Las Vegas strip.
Anderson, a member of the South Side Compton Crips gang, was killed at the age of 23 in 1998 in another gang-related shooting.
A Nevada grand jury indicted Davis for the murder, with Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo characterizing Davis as the "on-ground, on-site commander" and "shot caller" who issued the directive for Shakur's death, rather than being a mere bystander.
Anderson consistently denied any involvement in Shakur's murder and was never formally charged. Moreover, the other two who were in the car at the time of the shooting, Terrence Brown and DeAndre Smith, have also since died.
Nevada's lack of a statute of limitations on murder cases allows for the ongoing prosecution of such cases. During a press conference on Friday, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson elaborated on how a person involved in aiding and abetting a murder can still face charges for their involvement.
Who Is Davis?
Duane Davis, a former gang member, hasn't hidden his involvement in the case. In 2018, following a cancer diagnosis, he openly discussed the details of the 1996 drive-by shooting with BET, revealing that he was present in the Cadillac with the back-seat shooter during Tupac's murder. He previously claimed that his nephew, Orlando Anderson, was the one who shot Tupac.
Davis authored a memoir titled "Compton Street Legend" in 2019, where he detailed his version of the events surrounding the shooting. He claimed to be one of the last surviving witnesses to the tragic incident.
He claimed that he initially spoke about the event during a confidential meeting in 2010 with both federal and local authorities. During that time, he was 46 years old and facing potential life imprisonment on drug-related charges.
"They promised they would shred the indictment and stop the grand jury if I helped them out," he wrote.
Davis' arrest was "so long overdue," Greg Kading, a former Los Angeles police officer who spent years looking into the Shakur shooting and authored a book on it, said. "People have been yearning for him to be arrested for a long time. It's never been unsolved in our minds. It's been unprosecuted," he said.
He also told the Hollywood Reporter, "All the other direct conspirators or participants are all dead. Keefe D is the last man standing among the individuals that conspired to kill Tupac."
In July, Las Vegas police executed a search warrant at the home of Davis' wife, Pamela Clemons, in Henderson, Nevada, as part of the ongoing homicide investigation into Shakur's death.
During the search, law enforcement seized various electronic devices like computers, laptops, and iPads from the residence, along with a .40-caliber cartridge. This ammunition matched the type used, indicated by multiple casings found at the scene where Shakur was shot.
A source told the US Sun, "The homicide team did not enter into this investigation lightly. They knew that the world would be watching if they took any action against Keefe. They do not want to make any missteps."
Another source told the outlet that Davis' "gloating" ultimately "talked himself into huge legal trouble. Who knows what Keefe will do. Maybe he might try to negotiate a plea deal. The attention globally on the DA and police department will be extreme."
Shakur was in a heated feud with rival rapper Biggie Smalls, famously known as the Notorious B.I.G. when he died. Biggie Smalls was fatally shot six months later, in March 1997 at the age of 24. The case of his murder remains unresolved.