After a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, the death of Tupac Shakur led to a high-profile cold case that remained unsolved for nearly 30 years, shrouded in conspiracy theories and media coverage, speculating who might have wanted to kill the influential hip-hop star and actor.
Subsequently, a breakthrough occurred: the Las Vegas police announced the arrest of a suspect, Duane Keith Davis, on Friday, who was believed to be one of the individuals associated with the white Cadillac involved in Shakur’s murder on September 7, 1996.
A prominent jury later charged 60-year-old Davis with murder in connection to Tupac’s killing—an outcome that surprised some after he had gained notoriety for writing the 2019 self-published memoir “Compton Street Legend,” allegedly on behalf of a former Los Angeles gang leader, a role he took pride in as an eyewitness to the shooting.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson stated in a news conference on Friday, “Tupac Shakur is a music legend, and there is a thirst for justice for Tupac in the community and around the world.” “And today, we are taking that first step.”
Shakur’s family, fans, and members of the African-American community have expressed suspicions and questioned why, despite all the attention, this case remains unsolved year after year.
“This is a story that has captivated people across generations,” said Jeffrey Ogbar, a history professor at the University of Connecticut and author of “Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap.”
Regarding the arrests, he commented, “Better late than never,” but there is concern that those who were most central to the murder may have escaped justice.
Shakur’s family, fans, and members of the African-American community have voiced their suspicions and raised questions about why, despite significant attention, this case has remained unsolved year after year.
“This is a story that has held the fascination of people from different generations,” stated Jeffrey Ogbar, a history professor at the University of Connecticut and the author of “Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap.”
In reference to the recent arrests, he commented, “It’s better late than never,” but there is concern that those individuals who played the most central roles in the murder may have evaded justice.
The rapper, who openly discussed his struggles and created a narrative of self-identity around issues of poverty, police brutality, and the self-made “thug life,” had endured past violence. In 1994, during a recording session in a Manhattan studio, he was shot five times in an armed robbery.
Ogbar remarked, “Tupac was unfortunately marked. According to all accounts, he would say he wasn’t a gangster, but when he started associating with gangsters in his Death Row days, he embraced a lot of that sensitivity.”
The incident in which Shakur was shot was known to the police but remained unresolved.
In the lobby of the MGM Grand, where the Tyson-Seldon boxing match was taking place, Shakur had an altercation with an individual who was later identified by California investigators as Orlando Anderson, a member of a rival gang in Compton.
However, at that time, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department stated that their agency did not know who Anderson was or if he had any significance, as reported as part of a review of police actions by the Los Angeles Times in 2015.