Breakthrough at last? US police arrest man over 1996 drive-by killing of legendary rapper Tupac in Las Vegas

29 September 2023, 17:43 | Updated: 29 September 2023, 22:42

Tupac was gunned down in 1996 aged 25
Tupac was gunned down in 1996 aged 25. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

Police in Las Vegas have made an arrest over the killing of legendary rapper Tupac.

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Duane Davis, the uncle of a suspected shooter, was detained in the first arrest since the murder in 1996.

Tupac Shakur was 25 when he was killed in a drive-by shooting close to the Las Vegas strip.

Despite his death as such a young age, he remains beloved by rap fans who consider him one of the greatest the genre ever produced.

Tupac's death, which devastated a legion of fans who continue to celebrate him 27 years on, has never been solved.

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Davis was arrested on Friday morning and a formal indictment is expected later today.

Tupac was travelling in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Suge Knight.

When they stopped at a red light, a white Cadillac pulled up to the 10-car convoy and gunfire erupted.

Tupac was hit several times and died a week later.

Tupac was gunned down in 1996
Tupac was gunned down in 1996. Picture: Getty

Davis has admitted in interviews and in a 2019 memoir that he was inside the Cadillac Tupac was shot from and described himself as one of the last living witnesses of the killing.

Police in Las Vegas raided his wife's home in July in the nearby town of Henderson, and confirmed they were looking for items related to the murder.

They took computers, a mobile and a hard drive, as well as a magazine that featured Tupac.

A number of bullets, photos and a copy of Davis' memoir were also taken.

In that book he said he spoke about the killing when he met with federal and local authorities in 2010, when he was 46 and facing life in prison on drug charges.

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Tupac was travelling in a BMW driven by Suge Knight when he was shot
Tupac was travelling in a BMW driven by Suge Knight when he was shot. Picture: Alamy

"They promised they would shred the indictment and stop the grand jury if I helped them out," he wrote, he said. A grand jury assesses if there is enough to prosecute against a potential defendant.

Later, in 2018, after he was diagnosed with cancer, Davis admitted he was in the Cadillac and he implicated his nephew, Orlando Anderson, saying he was one of two people in the back seats when the shooting started.

Anderson, who denied any involvement, had been in a fight with Tupac and others at a casino earlier on September 7 1996. He was killed in a shooting in Compton two years later.

Tupac, who was nominated for six Grammies during his career, had just released his fourth solo album, All Eyez on Me.

He was famously feuding with The Notorious B.I.G. at the time. The rapper, also known as Biggie Smalls, would be shot and killed months later in March 1997.