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First arrest in Tupac Shakur’s 1996 slaying originated from Biggie Smalls’ death investigation

Posted: Sunday, October 1, 2023. 6:12 pm CST.

By Horace Palacio: In a landmark development linked to the 1996 murder of renowned hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur, an arrest has been made, as reported by Police1. The breakthrough in this longstanding case has its origins in the investigation into the killing of another hip-hop titan, Biggie Smalls. Historically, the deaths of the two artists have been interconnected, with the circumstances surrounding their murders intertwined in the annals of cultural memory.

Duane Keffe D. Davis, deeply involved in both investigations, was arrested last Friday, and charged with orchestrating Tupac’s murder. Greg Kading, a now-retired Los Angeles detective, had interviewed Davis back in 2009 during the investigation of Smalls’ killing, known legally as Christopher Wallace. Davis had attended the same party as Wallace right before the latter’s tragic shooting.

During his conversation with The Associated Press, Kading recounted Davis’ confession regarding his involvement in Tupac’s murder, highlighting intricate details of the crime. Despite having immunity during the police interview, Davis shared similar details in multiple public domains, including documentaries, podcasts, and a 2019 memoir. These revelations revived the Las Vegas police investigation, leading to Davis’ grand jury indictment. Kading commented, “He has essentially talked himself right into jail.”

Interestingly, Davis was already on the investigators’ radar as an early suspect. While not the direct shooter, authorities have labeled him the mastermind of the crime group. Davis himself has admitted to supplying the firearm used in Tupac’s drive-by shooting. The Nevada grand jury has since indicted Davis with murder with a deadly weapon, potentially adding a 20-year sentence enhancement for gang-related activities.

Transcripts released last Friday divulged insights into the grand jury proceedings that began in late July. Testimonies from retired police officers, Davis’ associates, and Shakur’s friends presented a vivid image of the intense rivalry between the two record labels, Death Row Records, represented by Shakur, and Bad Boy Records, which had ties to Davis.

Although Davis declined any interview requests, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur, Tupac’s sister, issued a statement describing the arrest as a monumental moment. She emphasized the cultural impact of her brother’s passing, stating, “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.”

Sheriff Kevin McMahill refuted any claims of negligence by the department, stressing the significance of every victim and their unwavering commitment to solving such cases.

The tragic night of September 7, 1996, saw Tupac Shakur, accompanied by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight, attending a Mike Tyson match in Las Vegas. A post-fight altercation between Shakur, Knight, Davis, and Davis’ nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, set the tragic events of the night in motion. Shakur was fatally shot later that night, leading to his untimely death at the age of 25.


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