For almost 30 years, the killer of rap icon Tupac Shakhur has remained a mystery – but on Friday, police made a major breakthrough in one of the world’s most famous unsolved cases.
Duane “Keefe D” Davis was charged with murder and will appear in court over the 1996 drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas strip in the US.
Tupac, one of hip-hop’s defining artists, was just 25 years old when he was murdered. The tragedy sparked numerous rumours, reports and documentaries over who might have been behind it.
Until now, however, nobody has ever been arrested in connection with it.
Davis, now aged 60, was a former gang leader in Los Angeles. He belonged to the South Side Compton Crips, while Tupac was affiliated with their famous rivals, the Bloods.
Davis, prosecutors say, organised the shooting. He was the “on the ground, on-site commander of the effort to kill Tupac”, Steve Wolfson, the Clark county district attorney, told the Associated Press.
Days before the shooting, Tupac and members of his crew beat up Davis’s nephew, Orlando Anderson, inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena hotel. For years, Anderson has been mentioned as a rumoured suspect in Tupac’s shooting.
At a press conference held on Friday, police showed hotel security footage of several men beating and kicking Anderson before security guards broke up the fight.
Davis, police said, “orchestrated the plan” to avenge his nephew. He obtained a firearm and boarded a white Cadillac with Anderson and two others and set out to find Tupac’s car.
Before long they spotted it, pulled up beside it, and one of the men fired several shots into the vehicle. Police did not say who pulled the trigger.
Tupac was struck four times, and died in hospital six days later.
For more than two decades it looked as though the rapper’s murder would never be solved.
However, Davis himself burst the case open again by admitting in his 2017 memoir that he was in the white Cadillac the night Tupac died, and was the last living witness of his murder. The three other passengers have all since died.
Tupac continues to be considered one of the greatest and most influential hip-hop artists in history. He is celebrated for rapping about social issues such as gang crime, sexism and drug use.
He has sold over 75 million records since his death.
Compiled by Arthur Greene
Pictured above: Tupac Shakhur (left) and his suspected killer, Duane “Keefe D” Davis (right).
Image source: Twitter