Man Arrested and Charged in Tupac Shakur Murder Case in Surprise Breakthrough

A man connected to Tupac Shakur’s death has been arrested and charged with murder with use of a deadly weapon, marking an unlikely breakthrough in a case that has vexed investigators since the rap icon was shot dead on the Las Vegas Strip in 1996.

Nevada police detained Duane Keith “Keefe D” Davis today (September 29), and a grand jury indicted him in the killing of Shakur, The Associated Press reports. Davis, who has long been known to investigators, has admitted in interviews and in his 2019 memoir, Compton Street Legend, that he was in the Cadillac with Shakur’s shooter. He is now the first person to be arrested in direct connection with the killing.

In court today, a prosecutor announced that Davis was also charged with the intent to promote, further, or assist a criminal gang.

Davis’ arrest and indictment follow the execution of a search warrant in Henderson, Nevada, in July, related to the ongoing investigation. (The house that police investigated belongs to Davis’ wife.) Las Vegas police have long maintained their case was hampered by a lack of cooperation from witnesses, though independent investigations have unearthed significantly more information than what has been revealed by law enforcement.

The case originates in May 1996 when Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson allegedly assaulted Travon “Tray” Lane, associate of Death Row Records boss Suge Knight, at a shoe store. On September 7, after a boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Lane told Shakur he saw Anderson in the lobby. Shakur then led an assault on Anderson that security cameras captured. He returned to his hotel room at the Luxor before departing with Knight for Club 662, where he was scheduled to perform at a charity event.

En route, a white Cadillac pulled up to the passenger side of Shakur’s car. The shooter rolled down the rear seat window of the Cadillac and fired a .40 S&W Glock 22, hitting Shakur four times. One bullet entered Shakur’s right lung, and the musician was taken to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada to receive treatment. He died six days later after the removal of his right lung caused respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.

Anderson was arrested in a “gang sweep” one month later. Investigators interviewed Anderson and identified him as the man in the surveillance footage, but did not charge or arrest him, believing the person in the footage could not have killed Shakur. Lieutanent Larry Spinosa told reporters, “At this point, Orlando Anderson is not a suspect in the shooting of Tupac Shakur.”