A self-described gangster accused by police of orchestrating the fatal 1996 shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas will make his first appearance before a Nevada judge on Wednesday.
Duane “Keffe D” Davis, 60, was arrested Friday while on an early morning walk near his home in suburban Henderson.
A few hours later, he was charged with murder after a grand jury indictment was unsealed in Clark County District Court.
In addition, grand jurors voted to increase penalties for use of a deadly weapon and alleged gang activity. If convicted, Davis could add decades to his sentence.
Davis was a suspect in the case and publicly admitted his role in the murder in interviews leading up to his tell-all 2019 memoir, “Compton Street Legend.”
Pictured: Photo of Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis, from September 29, in Las Vegas. Davis was charged in the fatal 1996 drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur (Las Vegas police via AP)
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson stands next to a photo of Duane “Keffe D” Davis during a news conference regarding an indictment in the 1996 murder of rapper Tupac Shakur, Friday, September 29, in Las Vegas
Part of a mural by artist sloe_motions depicting Tupac Shakur is seen on the side of Speedy Auto Tint on Friday, September 29, 2023 in Bellflower, California. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
“There is one thing that is certain when you live a gangster lifestyle,” he wrote. “You already know that the stuff you put out will come back; you never know how or when, but there is no doubt it will come.”
Davis’ own comments revived the police investigation that led to the charges, police and prosecutors said. In mid-July, Las Vegas police raided Davis’ home, once again drawing attention to one of hip-hop music’s most enduring mysteries.
Prosecutors allege Shakur’s murder stemmed from rivalry and competition for dominance in a music genre then called “gangsta rap.”
It pitted East Coast members of a Bloods gang cult associated with rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight against West Coast members of a Crips cult that Davis said he led in Compton, California.
Authorities seized several computers, a cell phone and a hard drive from the property, as well as 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 targeting Tupac after beating up his cousin, 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 “scene commander” who “ordered Shakur’s death.” Davis was denied bail by Clark County District Judge Jerry Wiese
Shakur was 25 when he was shot on the Vegas Strip while driving a BMW on September 7, 1996
Tension escalated in Las Vegas on the night of September 7, 1996, when a brawl broke out between Shakur and Davis’ cousin, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, at the MGM Grand hotel-casino following a heavyweight boxing match won by Mike Tyson. .
Knight and Shakur went to war, just like members of the South Side Crips,” prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo said in court last week.
“And (Knight) brought his entourage, which involved Mob Piru gang members.”
After the casino fight, 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 to the passenger side and gunfire broke out.
American rapper and actor Tupac Shakur was killed in a shooting that 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 ten cars
At the time, he was feuding with rap rival Biggie Smalls (left), also known as the Notorious BIG, who was fatally shot in March 1997.
Mopreme Shakur, Tupac’s stepbrother, called Davis’ arrest ‘bittersweet’ 27 years after the rapper’s death
Shot several times, Shakur died a week later at the age of 25. Knight was grazed by a bullet fragment.
Davis has said he was sitting in the front passenger seat of the Cadillac and handed a .40-caliber handgun to his cousin in the backseat, from where he said the shots were fired.
In Nevada, a person can be convicted of murder for helping another person commit the crime.
Of the four people in the Cadillac that night, Davis is the only one still alive. Anderson was killed in a May 1998 shooting in Compton.
Before his death, Anderson denied his involvement in Shakur’s death. The other backseat passenger, DeAndre “Big Dre” or “Freaky” Smith, died in 2004.
The driver, Terrence “Bubble Up” Brown, was killed 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 joint in January 2015.
Sheriff Kevin McMahill, who oversees the Las Vegas Police Department, has acknowledged criticism that his agency was slow to investigate Shakur’s killing.
“That just wasn’t 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 stopped short of praising authorities who investigated the case.
“The silence surrounding this case over the past 27 years has spoken loudly in our community,” she said.
Earlier this week, Tupac Shakur’s brother targeted Las Vegas detectives after they announced charges against a 60-year-old gang leader in the murder of the rapper, who has bragged about his involvement for years.
Mopreme Shakur, Tupac’s stepbrother, called Davis’ arrest 27 years after the rapper’s death “bittersweet.”
“We’ve been through decades of pain,” he told CNN. ‘They have known about this man for years, silencing him.
‘So why now? This is not over for us yet. We want to know why and whether there were any accomplices.’
Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo described Davis as the “scene commander” who “ordered Shakur’s death.” Davis was denied bail by Clark County District Judge Jerry Wiese.