ABOVE: A booking photo of Duane “Keefe D” Davis is shown on a television monitor as Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill (L) and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Jason Johansson speak during a news conference at the LVMPD headquarters to brief media members on Davis’ arrest and indictment for the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur on September 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A Nevada grand jury indicted Davis on one count of murder with a deadly weapon in the fatal drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Las Vegas police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of Tupac Shakur.
Duane “Keefe D” Davis was arrested Friday morning while on a walk near his home, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo. A Nevada grand jury indicted Davis on one count of murder with a deadly weapon (with intent to further, promote or assist a criminal gang). “This is the indictment we’ve been waiting almost three decades for,” said District Attorney Steve Wolfson at a press conference Friday.
In July, authorities raided Davis’ wife’s home in Henderson, Nevada (located roughly 16 minutes from downtown Las Vegas). They seized multiple computers, a cell phone, .40-caliber bullets, two tubs of photographs, and a copy of Davis’ memoir.
In that 2019 memoir, Compton Street Legend, Davis detailed his involvement in Shakur’s murder. He revealed that he was in the car from which shots were fired, mortally wounding Tupac and seriously injuring record label head Marion “Suge” Knight. In court on Friday, DiGiacomo outlined the events leading up to that fatal shooting.
The attorney stated that “this case actually stems from an event that occurred on September 7th, 1996. Prior to that time period, there was a record label by the name of Death Row Records that was headed up by an individual by the name of Marion ‘Suge’ Knight. Mr. Knight associated closely with gang members out of Compton, by the name of Mob Piru. They were a Blood set. One of his star artists was an individual by the name of Tupac Shakur.”
The Mob Piru Bloods, he said, had a dispute with another gang, the South Side Compton Crips: “Shortly before September of 1996, there was an incident in which some South Side Crips and some Mob Piru gang members got into a physical fight.” That fight involved Orlando Anderson (on the Crips’ side) and a man named Travon Lane (on the Mob Piru side). Someone had tried to steal a Death Row Records chain that was on Lane’s neck. That fight caused increased tensions between the South Side Crips and Mob Piru.
On Sept. 7, 1996, Shakur and Knight attended a boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Sheldon at the MGM Grand Hotel. It wasn’t a long bout. Tyson had a TKO within the first round. (The fight ended around 8:55 pm.) After the match, Anderson (Davis’ nephew) got beaten up by ‘Pac and his crew. Davis later wrote that “some 118 East Coast Crips came and told us that they saw some Death Row n—gas jump on my nephew down by the casino. We came to find out later that the same dude from the Lakewood Mall that got his chain snatched was walking with Tupac when they saw [Anderson] in the lobby of the MGM.”
DiGiacomo says that’s when Davis decided to retaliate. “He formulated a plan to exact revenge on Mr. Knight and Mr. Shakur,” DiGiacomo said in court. As part of the plan, Anderson got a .40-caliber pistol from an associate. Then he, Anderson, and two others got in a vehicle and headed to Club 662, where Shakur was slated to do a concert that night.
Meanwhile, Knight and Shakur headed to Club 662. Around 11:15 pm, their black BMW parked at an intersection near East Flamingo Road. A white Cadillac containing Davis, Anderson, and two other men pulled up beside them. Someone inside fired shots. (In a 2010 interview with authorities, Davis implicated that Anderson pulled the trigger. “He [Tupac] leaned over, and Orlando rolled down the window and popped him,” Davis told detectives.
Suge Knight was struck in the head but survived. Tupac Shakur was hit four times: once in the arm, once in the thigh, and twice in the chest. He was taken to UC Medical Center, where he died from his injuries six days later.
For the record, Davis did feel remorse for his role in the killing — but not enough to avoid justifying it. “I can say that I have a deep sense of remorse for what happened to Tupac,” he later wrote. “He was a talented artist with tons of potential to impact the world. I hate that Tupac’s family, friends and fans, especially his mother, Afeni Shakur, had to go through the pain of losing her son. It’s terrible losing people like that; I know that pain too well.
“However, I stand firm on the point that Tupac, Suge Knight and the rest of those n–gas didn’t have any business putting their hands on my beloved nephew, Baby Lane,” he continued. “Period. Them jumping on my nephew gave us the ultimate green light to do something to their ass.” He added: “Tupac chose the wrong game to play and the wrong n—gas to play with.”
Looks like Duane Davis did, too.