Duane “Keffe D” Davis‘ own words to the press — and in his memoir — “reinvigorated” the Tupac Shakur‘s murder case five years ago, Las Vegas police said in a press conference Friday. Davis was charged with one count of murder with use of a deadly weapon, with a gang enhancement.
“Davis was the shot-caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime, and he orchestrated the plan that was carried out,” Sheriff Kevin McMahill said Friday, adding that it took “decades” to get to the bottom of the 27-year-old case. “Our persistence in this investigation has paid off.”
“It wasn’t until 2018 that this case was reinvigorated as additional information came to light related to this homicide,” Lieutenant Jason Johansson added. “Specifically, Duane Davis’s own admission to his involvement in this homicide investigation that he provided to numerous different media outlets.”
Police broke down what happened the night of Shakur’s killing, including a fight at the MGM Grand that started after a member of Knight’s crew spotted Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, a Southside Compton Crip who had tried to rob them earlier in the year. Knight’s crew then assaulted Anderson, as captured by surveillance footage, before leaving the hotel for a party at Knight’s Club 662.
Police explained that the Southside Crips, led by Davis, got word of the MGM Grand lobby fight and Davis “began to devise a plan to obtain a firearm and retaliate against Suge Knight and Tupac Shakur for what occurred inside the hotel against Anderson.”
“Within the first few months of the investigation, our detective knew most of the information I just briefed you on,” Johansson said. “However, we never had the necessary evidence to bring this case forward and present it for criminal charges.”
Davis was in the front passenger seat, and, according to police, took the gun and gave it to the passengers in the back of the car before seeing Shakur and Knight’s vehicle. The passenger “immediately began shooting” at them both, police explained.
Even with this information, the case sat unsolved until 2018, when Davis began speaking publicly about the night of the murder. Davis has long admitted that he was at the scene of the crime, sitting in the front seat of the car. He claimed on an episode of BET’s Death Row Chronicles that he knew who killed Shakur. “Going to keep it for the code of the streets,” Davis said at the time. “It just came from the backseat, bro.”
In the press conference, Johansson explained that cops had a “systemic plan” to investigate the case after Davis’ statements. “We knew that this was likely our last time to take a run of this case to successfully solve this case and bring forth a criminal charge,” he added, saying that when they executed a search warrant at Davis’ home over the summer, they “obtained evidence that corroborated information from the investigation.”
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said that after nearly three decades, “justice will be served in the murder of Tupac Shakur.” Wolfso said Davis will appear in court in “the next few days” to determine his custody status and set a trial date.
“This grand jury has been receiving evidence for months and has determined there is sufficient evidence to justify the filing of this criminal indictment,” Wolfson explained. “I know a lot of people have been watching and waiting for this day.”
“Shakur is a music legend, and for a long time, this community, and worldwide, have been wanting justice for Tupac,” Wolfson added. “Today, we’re taking that first step.” Wolfson said that his office has “been in communication” with Shakur’s family and that they are “welcoming the news and pleased with this news” of Davis’ arrest.
The press conference comes hours after news broke that Davis had been arrested in connection to the killing, 27 years after Shakur’s death. Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo called Davis the “on-ground, on-site commander” who “ordered the death” of Shakur.
Back in July, Las Vegas police revealed that they had searched Davis’ home in connection with the investigation of Shakur’s murder. Though the police said the warrant was “part of the ongoing Tupac Shakur homicide investigation,” they declined to offer any further details at the time.
According to a warrant obtained by NBC at the time, authorities searched Davis’ home, specifically looking at desktops and other electronic storage devices, including thumb drives, CDs, external hard drives, and audio recordings. The warrant reportedly uncovered a Pokeball USB drive, a black iPhone, two iPads, and a purple Toshiba laptop, among other items.
Tupac was shot in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996, en route to a nightclub with Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight following a Mike Tyson fight. While Knight and Shakur’s car was idling at a stoplight, a white Cadillac pulled up next to their vehicle on the passenger side, and an unidentified gunman fired 14 shots. Shakur was hit four times and died several days later, on Sept. 13, 1996.