What happened to Tupac Shakur? Rapper's murder case explained as man arrested almost 30 years on

29 September 2023, 21:53 | Updated: 29 September 2023, 22:39

Tupac. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

US police have arrested a man over the killing of rapper Tupac in 1996 - here is everything you need to know about the potential breakthrough in the case almost 30 years on.

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One of the self-claimed last living witnesses to the drive-by shooting was charged with murder on Friday.

A Nevada grand jury indicted Duane Davis over the killing, with the charges being revealed hours after the 60-year-old was arrested.

Davis has long been known to investigators and previously admitted in interviews that he was in the Cadillac where the gunfire erupted during the drive-by shooting.

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

Read more: House in Las Vegas suburb searched as police re-open cold case murder of rapper Tupac Shakur

What happened to Tupac?

Tupac Shakur was 25 when he was killed in a drive-by shooting close to the Las Vegas strip on the evening of September 7 1996.

The rapper was in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight in a convoy of about 10 cars.

They had been waiting at a red light when a white Cadillac pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted.

Shakur was shot several times and died a week later.

Tupac was 25 when he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas Strip on the night of September 7 1996.
Tupac was 25 when he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas Strip on the night of September 7 1996. Picture: Alamy

Why were there no arrests?

Police have never been able to determine who shot the rapper.

The incident happened shortly after a casino brawl involving Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, Shakur and others.

Anderson denied any involvement in the Shakur shooting. He died two years later in a shooting in Compton, California.

When was Tupac's case reopened?

Police carried out a search of a Las Vegas property in connection with the unsolved 1996 shooting in July this year.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) said a warrant had been served on Monday July 17, confirming they had re-opened the cold case.

A statement read: "LVMPD can confirm a search warrant was served in Henderson, Nevada, on July 17, 2023, as part of the ongoing Tupac Shakur homicide investigation.

"We will have no further comment at this time."

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

Who was Tupac?

Tupac is widely considered to be one of the most influential rap artists of all time.

He is known for hit songs including Ambitionz Az A Ridah and California Love.

Though his career lasted just five years, he has remained one of the most prolific artists of his generation, with more than 75 million records sold worldwide.

Why is Tupac so famous?

Both Tupac's 1996's All Eyez On Me and his Greatest Hits collection have been certified Diamond records, surpassing the 10 million sales mark and placing them among the top-selling albums of all time.

In June, Tupac was honoured with a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in LA, following his April 2017 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He became the first solo hip-hop artist to be recognised for inclusion in his first eligible year.

The rapper also found success and critical acclaim as an actor, starring in films such as Juice, Poetic Justice, Above The Rim, Gridlock'd and Gang Related.

His life and legacy have continued to impact and influence culture today, including a performance via hologram at Coachella in 2012 and a spoken-word appearance on Kendrick Lamar's 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly.