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30 Sep 2023

Duane Davis was indicted Friday in Las Vegas for the murder of Tupac Shakur, a charge he could be found guilty of whether or not he was the person who pulled the trigger on the hip-hop icon, according to prosecutors.

Tupac Shakur In 'Gridlock'd'

Shakur died in 1996 at the age of 25. (Photo by Gramercy Pictures/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told reporters Friday that an aiding and abetting statute under Nevada law “provides that if you help somebody commit a crime, you can be equally as guilty.”

Davis, 60, was indicted on the charge of murder with use of a deadly weapon, and has said he was in white Cadillac with a shooter who gunned down Shakur in 1996, repeating the admission in interviews and in a 2019 book, which prosecutors said also contained an admission that Davis acquired a gun with the intent to kill the rapper.

In this book, Compton Street Legend, Davis also described himself as a “hardened gangster” who was a leader in the South Side Compton Crips gang at the time of Shakur’s murder, which followed an altercation where the rapper’s entourage punched and kicked Davis’s nephew, Orlando Anderson.

Davis pinned the murder on his late nephew in a 2011 interview with LA Weekly, and also accused Sean Combs, better known as rapper P Diddy, of offering him $1 million to kill Tupac and his manager, Marion “Suge” Knight.

Prosecutors allege Davis, who is the only living member of the occupants of the white Cadillac, provided a gun to the passengers in the rear seat of the vehicle, one of whom was Anderson, according to a diagram shown by prosecutors.

The home of Davis’ wife was searched by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department just two months ago—a probe that helped law enforcement corroborate separate findings from their investigation, according to Wolfson.

Davis is being held without bail and is due in court next week. His murder charge comes with a sentencing enhancement for gang activity that could add up to 20 extra years if he’s convicted, according to the Associated Press.

“Them jumping on my nephew gave us the ultimate green light to do something," Davis said in his book, reinvigorating the investigation into Shakur’s death. "Tupac chose the wrong game to play.”

Davis is one of 12 siblings who grew up in Compton, California, in the 1960s and joined the Crips in 1971, according to his book. He also said in his book he met Knight when he was 9 years old, decades before he allegedly would end up firing upon the Death Row Records co-founder and Shakur. Knight and Shakur had associations with members of the Bloods, the rival gang to the Crips, though they were never gang members themselves. Shakur in particular took a utilitarian approach to his relations with both of Los Angeles’ most dominant gangs at the time, according to the New Yorker. Shakur is a six-time Grammy nominated rapper revered by generations of fellow hip-hop legends ranging from Kendrick Lamar, The Game and Snoop Dogg. He was shot four times in the attack on him and Knight at a stop light in South Las Vegas. Shakur died six days later at the age of 25. Investigators spent decades probing the murder, which became the subject of documentaries, investigations and songs that theorized about who was behind Shakur’s murder and what motivated them to commit it.

The rap scene at the time of Shakur’s death was largely characterized by a rivalry between rappers on the East Coast and West Coast. Shakur, alongside other prominent hip-hop artists like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E and Snoop Dogg, represented the West, while artists such as Christopher Wallace, known as the Notorious B.I.G., Nas, P Diddy and the Wu Tang Clan represented the East. The rivalry featured bouts of artistic competition and violent feuds between Shakur and Wallace and their associates. Wallace was murdered at the age of 24 in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles six months after Shakur was killed. His murder, which some have theorized was rooted in the feud, remains unsolved after nearly three decades.

Duane Davis Charged With Murder Of Tupac Shakur Following Decades Of Investigations (Forbes)

Home searched in Tupac killing tied to wife of Duane ‘Keefe D’ Davis (Las Vegas Review-Journal)