‘The indictment we’ve been waiting almost 3 decades for,’ says DA on arrest in Tupac Shakur murder

The rapper's murder has gone unsolved since 1996
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 1:18 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Friday afternoon media conference in Las Vegas provided more insight into this morning’s arrest of a suspect in the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson noted the quote “justice delayed is justice denied,” before adding his own addendum.

“Not in this case,” he stated.

A Nevada grand jury indicted Duane “Keefe D” Davis in the killing in court on Friday. Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo said the grand jury had been seated in the case for “several months.” DiGiacomo described Davis as the “on-ground, on-site commander” who “ordered the death” of Shakur.

Sheriff Kevin McMahill began by running down a timeline of the investigation, dating back to the Mike Tyson prize fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena that preceded the events leading to Shakur’s shooting later that night in September, 1996. He explained that those involved in the incident were all connected to gangs in Southern California.

The briefing included security surveillance video of a group of men attacking another man near a bank of hotel elevators on Sept. 7, 1996.. The Sheriff explained that the murder was a “retaliatory shooting” because of that prior fight. He added that for years, investigators “never had the necessary evidence to bring this case forward.”

He made a point of stating that, contrary to some public opinion, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department maintained that the case was important, even as years and eventually decades passed following Shakur’s killing.

“Every single victim, every life that is lost is important,” he said.

He said that the investigation picked up steam again in 2018 due to some of Davis’ own admissions.

“This was likely our last time to take a run at this case,” he stated, explaining the department’s sentiments at that time. He added that there has been a “systematic plan” in place over the five years since, including “countless interviews.”

The Sheriff noted that there is no statute of limitations for murder, and said that the suspect’s admissions led to the search warrant that was executed at a Henderson residence earlier this year. D.A. Wolfson confirmed that evidence seized during that search corroborated other investigative information the department had gathered.

Duane Davis
Duane Davis(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Before concluding, Wolfson quoted a Shakur music lyric about refusing to surrender, noting that investigators in this case upheld that same mentality over the last 27 years of investigating. Homicide Lt. Jason Johansson added that “there’s a lot that’s going to come out when it’s time for trial.”

“This is the indictment we’ve been waiting almost three decades for,” Wolfson declared, wielding that very document in his hand. The indictment was unsealed on Friday afternoon.

Davis is facing one charge of murder with a deadly weapon with a gang enhancement attached. The indictment said that Davis’ gang, the South Side Compton Crips, “had as one of its common activities engaging in felonious criminal activities other than the conduct which constitutes the primary offense.”

It added that Davis had “specific intent to promote, further, or assist the activities of the South Side Crips gang, with malice aforethought,” in Shakur’s killing.