How The Las Vegas Police Arrested A Suspect For Tupac's Murder 27 Years Later

A suspect has been charged with the murder of Tupac Shakur.

Nearly a week after being shot multiple times while riding in an SUV, Shakur died from his gunshot wounds on September 13, 1996. The Grammy-nominated rapper and actor was only 25 at the time. Given the public feud that Tupac shared with fellow rapper Biggie Smalls, his untimely death led to widespread interest and conspiracy theories concerning the potential killer. Over the years, fans and hip hop enthusiasts have pointed the finger towards fellow artists such as Smalls, who was also murdered six months later in an eerily similar fashion.

More substantial claims have also been made. In 2014, Chris Carroll, the first cop to arrive at Shakur's crime scene, gave an unflattering account of the rapper's demeanor after he attempted to get information about his shooter. "He looked at me, and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth," alleged Carroll (via Rolling Stone). "And then the words came out: 'F*** you.'" Later, Carroll revealed that he'd shared the story, partially, because he didn't think Shakur's murder would ever make it to trial. However, he was shortsighted. In September 2023, Duane "Keefe D" Davis, the suspect believed to have been involved in Shakur's murder was arrested. These are the events that led to his arrest — 27 years later.

Duane 'Keefe D' Davis has been arrested

According to CNN, "Duane Keefe D" Davis has been indicted for his role in Tupac Shakur's murder. Davis was taken into custody on September 29, 2023. During a press conference to discuss the arrest, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Kevin McMahill claimed that Davis — who'd previously admitted to being present at the time of the shooting — had Shakur killed to avenge his nephew, Orlando Anderson, whom Shakur and his team had previously attacked. 

"At some point in time, as [Terrence Brown, Deandre Smith, and Anderson] were in the white Cadillac, Mr. Davis took the gun that he had obtained and provided it to the passengers in the rear seat of the vehicle," said homicide lieutenant Jason Johansson. The lieutenant also referred to Davis as the group's leader, who gave the order to shoot Shakur. According to AP News, Davis, who has been charged with one count of murder, will head to court the week of October 1. He could also face jail time in connection to his gang affiliation.

Law officials say that Duane Davis' interviews contributed to his arrest

According to law enforcement officials, Duane "Keefe D" Davis' decision to flaunt his proximity to Tupac Shakur's murder spearheaded his own arrest. According to CNN, officers had suspected Davis' involvement for several decades, but it wasn't until he started doing press interviews that they had enough evidence to reopen the case. 

This is the same conclusion that former prosecutor Joshua Ritter came to when Nicki Swift interviewed him about the reasons that Davis is finally facing legal consequences. CNN also noted Davis' previous admission to the crime which couldn't be used as evidence due to the technicalities of his proffer agreement, which shields defendants against legal recourse in exchange for information. "We sat him down back in 2009, and he confessed to his role in the murder along with other co conspirators," shared former detective Greg Kading. As AP News reported, Davis hasn't officially been identified as Shakur's shooter. However, because of Nevada law, any suspected accessories to the crime can be charged. Davis' endless interviews, where he alleged that he was front and center when Shakur was shot, helped to reopen the case.

What Duane Davis has said about his involvement

If Duane "Keefe D" Davis is found guilty in the death of Tupac Shakur, he won't exactly be able to blame it on a case of mistaken identity. Over the years, Davis has proudly asserted his connection to Shakur's death. Davis' earliest comments came in 1998 when he participated in a BET interview. When discussing who killed Shakur, Davis replied, "Going to keep it for the code of the streets. It just came from the back seat, bro" (via CNN). 

During a 2019 interview with VLAD TV, Davis went in depth about the moments leading up to Shakur's shooting. "[Tupac] got to the light [...] he was hanging out the window," said Davis about the moment their cars met at a red light. "He was hanging out the window like he was in a parade." Unwilling to say what happened next, the interviewer then read excerpts from Davis' candid memoir centering on the incident. After the reporter asked Davis to qualify his claims that Tupac reached for a gun, he agreed. "It looked like he was reaching, yeah," however, "Once he got to reaching, I got to ducking." The reporter then read more from the book. "Pac pulled out a strap and that's when fireworks started," Davis wrote in the book. "One of my guys from the backseat grabbed the glock and started bussing back." While Davis stood by his words, he never claimed responsibility for the actual shooting, however.

Has Duane Davis changed his tune about Tupac?

Given the way that Duane Davis has openly flaunted his connection to Tupac Shakur's murder, followers of the case have been eagerly awaiting to hear more of his side now that he's facing official murder charges. As of this writing, however, Davis has yet to make a formal statement regarding his charges. AP News also noted that Davis doesn't appear to have any legal representation at this time. 

As Davis hasn't appeared in court, his plea is unknown. However, he likely has a difficult legal journey ahead of him, due to the litany of evidence mounting against him. Speaking of the evidence, the New York Post has reported that it's likely that investigators purposefully waited so long to arrest Davis because they were allowing him to further incriminate himself. "Perhaps what they were doing was saying, 'He's already tied the noose, now, let's let him hang himself,'" shared former homicide detective Greg Kading with the NY Post. "The perception is that it's going to be hard for him at this point to say, 'Hey, I was just kind of boasting, making stuff up,'" he added.

What social media is saying

The internet has worked super hard to piece together the crumbs of public evidence surrounding Tupac Shakur's murder into a clear portrait of that unfortunate night. Now that an actual suspect is in custody, they've reacted to the long-awaited news. One fan pointed out the irony of Duane Davis being arrested after appearing on Vlad TV. "Of course the man who just got arrested for involvement in Tupac's shooting over 25 years ago gave a two-hour interview on VladTV. Of course he did," they tweeted

There's also been finger-pointing towards other public figures that fans believe were involved — mainly Sean "Diddy" Combs, who many believe helped orchestrate Shakur's death due to his former affiliation with Biggie Smalls. "If they charge Diddy in Tupac's murder that would be the greatest day on this app. My phone actually might catch fire," tweeted one user. Some also made observations about the ridiculous amount of time it took to arrest a suspect. "27 years is crazy. The investigation is older than 2pac was when he died," tweeted one fan. 

There's also been a plethora of conciliatory messages towards Shakur's family, especially his late mom Afeni Shakur who spent the last years of her life investigating her son's murder. "Well I'll be d**ned. Thirty years later. Las Vegas police arrest Duane Davis 'Keefe D' for the murder of Tupac Shakur. Wish Afeni was alive today to give her reaction. She always knew him and his nephew were guilty and she never stopped fighting for her baby," tweeted another fan.

Tupac's friends and family react

Tupac Shakur's family and friends have also started to react to the news of Duane Davis' arrest. Tupac's sister, Sekyiwa "Set" Shakur, took to Instagram to express her thoughts on Davis finally being arrested. "The silence of the past 27 years surrounding this case has spoken loudly in our community," she wrote. "It's important to me that the world, the country, the justice system, and our people acknowledge the gravity of the passing of this man, my brother, my mother's son, my father's son." 

Sekyiwa added, "There have been multiple hands involved and there remains so much surrounding the life and death of my brother Tupac and our Shakur family overall. We are seeking real justice, on all fronts." Tupac's former friend, Jada Pinkett Smith, who's openly revealed details about their friendship over the years, has also spoken out. "Now I hope we can get some answers and have some closure," Smith posted to her Instagram Stories (via People).