After 27 years of investigations and a recent raid on his home, Duane “Keffe D” Davis, aged 60, was arrested early Friday and charged with the murder of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. This arrest marks a significant development in a case that has captivated the public for decades, symbolizing the violence associated with gangsta rap during its rise to prominence.
Keffe D had long acknowledged his involvement in Shakur’s murder, even claiming to be the “on-site commander” responsible for orchestrating the assassination of Shakur and Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight. The motive behind this deadly act was reportedly revenge for an assault on Davis’s nephew.
Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo stated in a Nevada court, “The presumption is great that he is responsible for the murder of Tupac Shakur, and he will be found guilty of murder with the use of a deadly weapon.”
Shakur, celebrated as the best-selling hip-hop artist known for hits like “California Love,” “Changes,” and “Dear Mama,” was tragically gunned down in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996, at the young age of 25. At the time of his murder, he was signed to Death Row Records, which had affiliations with the Los Angeles street gang Mob Piru, sparking a long-standing feud with the Southside Compton Crips.
According to DiGiacomo, the day of the murder saw Shakur and Death Row Records co-founder Knight in Las Vegas to witness a Mike Tyson fight. In a hotel elevator lobby, they confronted Orlando Anderson, a member of the Crips and Davis’s nephew, resulting in a violent altercation.
“[Davis] formulated a plan to exact revenge upon Mr. Knight and Mr. Shakur,” explained DiGiacomo. Davis acquired a .40-caliber Glock firearm from a drug associate and handed it over to one of the individuals in the back seat of a light-colored Cadillac. The group then embarked on their mission to locate and harm their intended victims.
Spotting the two rap icons in a car on a Las Vegas street, the assailants pulled up alongside and opened fire, striking Mr. Knight in the head and Mr. Shakur multiple times.
Shakur succumbed to his injuries in a hospital several days later, while Knight survived.
DiGiacomo revealed that the events of that fateful night had been understood by investigators for years, but the case lacked sufficient admissible evidence to progress. The breakthrough came when Davis, the only surviving witness from the car that night, published an autobiography and openly discussed the crime for a TV show.
“He admitted to being the front right passenger in the light Cadillac and that he was the on-ground, on-site commander of the effort to kill Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight.”
A court hearing for this case is scheduled for next week, promising further developments in this long-standing mystery.