A former gang leader in the United States has been charged with the 1996 murder of rapper Tupac Shakur, marking a significant development in a longstanding case that continues to capture public attention.
Tupac Shakur, a renowned hip-hop artist born in New York, was fatally shot at the age of 25 during a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, sustaining four gunshot wounds.
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Recently, a grand jury in Nevada indicted Duane “Keffe D” Davis, aged 60, on a single count of murder with a deadly weapon. According to law enforcement authorities, Davis orchestrated the deadly attack following a casino altercation involving his nephew and Shakur. Mr. Davis was taken into custody near his residence in Las Vegas and is expected to appear in court in the coming days. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) has released his mugshot.
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Greg Kading, a retired detective from the Los Angeles Police Department who dedicated years to investigating Shakur’s murder, expressed his lack of surprise at Mr. Davis’ arrest when speaking to the Associated Press.
“All the other direct conspirators or participants are all dead,” Mr Kading said, calling Mr Davis “the last man standing” in the case.
During the court proceedings, prosecutor Marc DiaGiacomo characterized Mr. Davis, a former leader of the South Side Compton Crips street gang, as the individual who acted as the “on-ground, on-site commander” responsible for “ordering the death” of Tupac Shakur.
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At a subsequent press conference held recently, Police Officer Jason Johansson emphasized the tenacity of their investigative efforts, highlighting that it had “ultimately paid off.” He then elaborated on the key factors that led to this significant breakthrough in the case.
Officer Johansson explained that a fight had occurred between Orlando Anderson, the late nephew of the suspect, and Shakur in a casino shortly before the rapper was shot on September 7, 1996. Shakur succumbed to his injuries a few days later in the hospital.
To illustrate the sequence of events, Mr. Johansson presented hotel security camera footage depicting the altercation involving Anderson. He asserted that this fight ultimately triggered the retaliatory shooting of Tupac Shakur while he was waiting in his car at a red traffic light.
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The officer further explained that it became evident early on that this crime had connections to a gang, and the case had undergone multiple reviews. However, it wasn’t until 2018 when new information emerged that the case was given a renewed sense of urgency and attention.
Officer Johansson also noted that Mr. Davis had made self-incriminating statements to media outlets, acknowledging his presence in the vehicle from which the shots were fired. At the same press conference, a visibly emotional Sheriff Kevin McMahill said that “for 27 years the family of Tupac Shakur have been waiting for justice”.
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“There have been many people who did not believe that the murder of Tupac Shakur was important to this police department. I’m here to tell you: that was simply not the case.”
“Our goal at LVMPD has always been to hold those… responsible for Tupac’s violent murder accountable,” the sheriff added.
Tupac Shakur, known by his stage name 2Pac, launched his debut album in 1991. He was widely regarded as one of the most celebrated figures in the hip-hop genre. His tragic passing has been the catalyst for numerous documentaries.
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With a global record sales figure exceeding 75 million, Tupac achieved chart-topping success with hit songs such as ‘California Love,’ ‘All Eyez On Me’ and ‘Changes’. Furthermore, he ventured into the world of acting and made a mark in films like ‘Juice,’ ‘Poetic Justice,’ ‘Above The Rim,’ ‘Gridlock’d’ and ‘Gang Related’. In June of this year, the rapper was posthumously honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.