A prime suspect in the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur has revealed his version of events from the night the rapper was shot.
The drive-by shooting occurred in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996, and since then no one has ever been charged by police for the murder.
Now, former Compton Southside Crips gang member Duane ‘Keefe D’ Davis has shared his version of events. Davis’ nephew, Orlando ‘Baby Lane’ Anderson, has previously been identified as the shooter by an LAPD investigation, which claimed it was in retaliation for Tupac attacking Anderson earlier that night in the MGM Grand after a Mike Tyson boxing match.
Anderson himself died a year after Tupac, also in a shootout. And while Keefe D has previously spoken about his and his nephew’s involvement in the incident, he has elaborated further in a new autobiography called Compton Street Legend.
In the book, Davis claims he and Anderson were looking for Suge Knight – head of Tupac’s label, Death Row Records – so they could ‘quash the situation’ between Anderson and Shakur.
However, as they pulled up alongside Shakur’s BMW, which Knight was driving, Davis says the rapper made an ‘erratic move’ which looked like he was reaching for a gun.
Davis wrote, as per Metro:
The s*** was on, Tupac made an erratic move and began to reach down beneath his seat.
It was the first and only time of my life I could relate to the police command “keep your hands where I can see them”. Instead Pac pulled out a strap and that’s when the fireworks started.
One of my guys from the backseat grabbed a glock and started busting back. The first shot skinned Suge in the head and I thought that m*********** was dead.
I’d heard some stories that Suge used Tupac as a shield when the bullets started flying but that’s some b*****, Suge was already wounded and he was the one that got touched.
As the rounds continued flying I ducked down so I wouldn’t get hit.
Davis didn’t reveal who actually fired the fatal shoots, saying instead: ‘it’s for the streets.’ However, it has been reported that in a taped confession, while he was under immunity, Davis allegedly revealed to LAPD detective Greg Kading it was his nephew who was responsible.
Tupac was hit four times in the shootout – twice in the chest, once in the arm and once in the thigh. He was taken to hospital but died six days later from ‘respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds’.
In his career, both before his death and posthumously, Tupac has sold more than 75 million records worldwide.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.