A self-proclaimed gangster, accused by law enforcement of orchestrating the fatal 1996 shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas, is scheduled to appear before a Nevada judge for the first time on Wednesday.
Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis, 60, was arrested Friday during an early-morning stroll near his home in suburban Henderson.
He was charged with murder a few hours later after a grand jury indictment was unsealed in Clark County District Court.
Additionally, grand jurors voted to add sentencing enhancements for the use of a deadly weapon and alleged gang activity. If Davis is convicted, that could add decades to his sentence.
Davis had been a suspect in the case, and publicly admitted his role in the killing in interviews ahead of his 2019 tell-all memoir, ‘Compton Street Legend.’
Pictured: Mug shot of Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis, from Sept. 29, in Las Vegas. Davis was charged in the 1996 fatal drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur (Las Vegas Police Department via AP)
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson stands beside a photo of Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis during a news conference on an indictment in the 1996 murder of rapper Tupac Shakur, Friday, Sept. 29, in Las Vegas
A portion of a mural by artist sloe_motions depicting Tupac Shakur is seen on the side of Speedy Auto Tint on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Bellflower, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
‘There’s one thing that’s for sure when living that gangster lifestyle,’ he wrote. ‘You already know that the stuff you put out is going to come back; you never know how or when, but there’s never a doubt that it’s coming.’
Davis’ own comments revived the police investigation that led to the indictment, police and prosecutors said. In mid-July, Las Vegas police raided Davis’ home, drawing renewed attention to one of hip-hop music’s most enduring mysteries.
Prosecutors allege Shakur’s killing stemmed from a rivalry and competition for dominance in a musical genre that, at the time, was dubbed ‘gangsta rap.’
It pitted East Coast members of a Bloods gang sect associated with rap music mogul Marion ‘Suge’ Knight against West Coast members of a Crips sect that Davis has said he led in Compton, California.
Authorities seized multiple computers, a cell phone and a hard drive from the property, and a Vibe magazine featuring Shakur from the property
September 7 marked the 27th anniversary of Tupac’s death, with the California Love rapper dying after being shot by a semi-automatic pistol
Davis admitted to targeting Tupac after he beat up his nephew, who was a member of the Compton Crip gang
Homicide Lt. Jason Johansson called Davis the ‘leader and shot caller’, during a press conference on Friday
Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo described Davis as the ‘on-ground, on-site commander’ who ‘ordered the death’ of Shakur. Davis was denied bail by Clark County District Judge Jerry Wiese
Shakur was 25 when he was gunned down on the Vegas strip on 7 September 1996 while riding in a BMW
Tension escalated in Las Vegas the night of Sept. 7, 1996, when a brawl broke out between Shakur and Davis’ nephew, Orlando ‘Baby Lane’ Anderson, at the MGM Grand hotel-casino following a heavyweight championship boxing match won by Mike Tyson.
Knight and Shakur went to the fight, as did members of the South Side Crips,’ prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo said last week in court.
‘And (Knight) brought his entourage, which involved Mob Piru gang members.’
After the casino brawl, Knight drove a BMW with Shakur in the front passenger seat.
The car was stopped at a red light near the Las Vegas Strip when a white Cadillac pulled up on the passenger side and gunfire erupted.
American rapper and actor Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive by shooting which has been unsolved for 27 years
Shakur was in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion ‘Suge’ Knight in a convoy of about 10 cars
He was feuding at the time with rap rival Biggie Smalls (left) , also known as the Notorious B.I.G., who was fatally shot in March 1997
Mopreme Shakur, Tupac’s step-brother, called the arrest of Davis 27 years after the death of the rapper ‘bittersweet’
Shot multiple times, Shakur died a week later at age 25. Knight was grazed by a bullet fragment.
Davis has said he was in the front passenger seat of the Cadillac and handed a .40-caliber handgun to his nephew in the back seat, from which he said the shots were fired.
In Nevada, a person can be convicted of murder for helping another person commit the crime.
Among the four people in the Cadillac that night, Davis is the only one still alive. Anderson died in a May 1998 shooting in Compton.
Before his death, Anderson denied involvement in Shakur´s death. The other backseat passenger, DeAndre ‘Big Dre’ or ‘Freaky’ Smith, died in 2004.
The driver, Terrence ‘Bubble Up’ Brown, died in a 2015 shooting in Compton.
Knight, now 58, is now serving a 28-year prison sentence for running over and killing a Compton businessman outside a burger stand in January 2015.
Sheriff Kevin McMahill, who oversees the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, has acknowledged criticism that his agency was slow to investigate Shakur’s killing.
‘That was simply not the case,’ McMahill said. He called the investigation ‘important to this police department.’
Shakur’s sister, Sekyiwa ‘Set’ Shakur, issued a statement describing the arrest as ‘a pivotal moment’ but didn’t praise authorities who investigated the case.
‘The silence of the past 27 years surrounding this case has spoken loudly in our community,’ she said.
Earlier this week, the brother of Tupac Shakur has taken aim at Las Vegas detectives after they announced charges against a 60-year-old gang leader in the murder of the rapper who has been bragging about his involvement for years.
Mopreme Shakur, Tupac’s step-brother, called the arrest of Davis 27 years after the death of the rapper ‘bittersweet’.
‘We have been through decades of pain,’ he told CNN, ‘They have known about this guy, who been running his mouth, for years.
‘So why now? For us, this is not over. We want to know why, and if there were any accomplices.’
Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo described Davis as the ‘on-ground, on-site commander’ who ‘ordered the death’ of Shakur. Davis was denied bail by Clark County District Judge Jerry Wiese.