A home that Las Vegas police raided this week in connection with the 1996 drive-by shooting of Tupac Shakur is tied to one of the only surviving witnesses to the crime, a man long known to investigators whose nephew was seen as a suspect shortly after the rapper’s killing.
Detectives sought items “concerning the murder of Tupac Shakur” from Duane “Keffe D” Davis, according to warrant documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.
Davis, 60, is the uncle of Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, one of Shakur’s known rivals. Anderson denied involvement in Shakur’s killing, and died two years later in a shooting in Compton, Calif.
Police reported collecting multiple computers, a cellphone and hard drive, “documentary documents,” a Vibe magazine that featured Shakur, “purported marijuana,” several .40-calibre bullets, two “tubs containing photographs” and a copy of Davis’ 2019 tell-all memoir, Compton Street Legend.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed it served a search warrant Monday in the neighbouring city of Henderson.
The department hasn’t said whether investigators expect to make a first-ever arrest in the 1996 slaying of Shakur.
Neighbourhood residents said they saw officers detain two people outside the home Monday night while investigators searched the one-storey property.
Case before grand jury
The case is being presented to a grand jury in Las Vegas, according to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly. The timing and results of those proceedings was unclear, and the person did not identify the two people whom police encountered at the house.
It was not immediately known if Davis has a lawyer who can comment on his behalf. Messages left for Davis and his wife, Paula Clemons, weren’t returned.
News of the search breathed new life into Shakur’s long-unsolved killing, which has been surrounded by conspiracy theories. Attention on the case has endured for decades.
“I’m one of the only living eyewitnesses to Tupac’s killing, who also knows the much larger story around the reasons why both Tupac and Biggie were killed,” Davis wrote in the memoir, referring also to the 1997 killing of rapper “Biggie Smalls,” also known as “Notorious B.I.G.”
On the night of Sept. 7, 1996, Shakur was riding in a black BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight in a convoy of about 10 cars. They were waiting at a red light a block from the Las Vegas Strip when a white Cadillac pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted. Shakur was shot multiple times and died days later.
Knight was wounded but recovered. He was sentenced in October 2018 to 28 years in prison for running over a man with his pickup truck several years earlier.
The Shakur shooting unfolded shortly after a casino brawl earlier in the evening involving Anderson, Shakur and their associates.
There were many witnesses, but the investigation stalled because people refused to cooperate, Las Vegas police said previously.
That silence broke, to a point, in 2018, when Davis admitted to being in the front seat of the Cadillac. In an interview for a BET show, he implicated his nephew in the shooting, saying Anderson was one of two people in the backseat.
Davis said the shots were fired from the back of the car, though he stopped short of naming the shooter.
But in his memoir, Davis said he shared what he knew nearly a decade earlier in a closed-door meeting with federal and local authorities who were investigating the possibility that Shakur’s slaying was linked to B.I.G.’s death.