Photo by Wassim Chouak

A man has been charged by Las Vegas police with the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur. The hip-hop star, who is considered one of the most influential rappers of all time, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996. 

These charges mark a significant development in a case that has both frustrated investigators and captivated the public for the past 27 years. The arrested individual, Duane "Keffe D" Davis, was taken into custody on Friday morning, although the exact charges have not yet been disclosed. However, a Nevada grand jury has indicted Davis, who is now 60 years old, on a charge of murder with the use of a deadly weapon. Davis has long been known to investigators and has admitted in interviews and his 2019 memoir, titled "Compton Street Legend," that he was present in the Cadillac where the shooting occurred.

 The charges come two months after a police raid on Davis's wife's home, during which items related to Shakur's murder were collected. In his memoir, Davis reveals that he broke his silence about Tupac's killing in 2010 during a closed-door meeting with federal and local authorities. Davis describes himself as one of the last living witnesses to the shooting. Tupac Shakur was 25 years old when he was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting on September 7, 1996, near the Las Vegas strip. He was in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight, accompanied by a convoy of approximately 10 cars. As they were waiting at a red light, a white Cadillac pulled up next to them and opened fire. Shakur died a week later.

In 2018, Davis publicly admitted in an interview that he was inside the Cadillac during the attack and implicated his nephew, Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, as one of the shooters. The shooting took place shortly after a brawl at a casino involving Anderson, Shakur, and others. Anderson denied any involvement in the shooting and was later killed in a separate incident. Tupac Shakur's death occurred during a feud with his rap rival, Biggie Smalls (also known as The Notorious B.I.G.), who was fatally shot in March 1997. 

At the time, both rappers were at the center of an East Coast-West Coast rivalry that dominated the hip-hop scene in the mid-1990s. Greg Kading, a retired Los Angeles police detective who investigated the Shakur case and wrote a book about it, expressed no surprise at Davis's indictment and arrest, stating that it was long overdue.