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Police bodycam video shows arrest of suspect in 1996 killing of Tupac Shakur

An image of the late rapper and actor Tupac Shakur appears among fans during a ceremony honoring Shakur with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Los Angeles. The unsolved killing of Shakur has taken a major turn. Duane “Keffe D” Davis was arrested Friday morning, although the exact charge or charges were not immediately clear, according to two officials with first-hand knowledge of the arrest. The renewed activity comes nearly 30 years after Shakur was gunned down on Sept. 7, 1996. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The man charged with murder in the 1996 killing of Tupac Shakur had little to say when he was arrested outside Las Vegas. But Duane “Keffe D” Davis knew the gravity of it, according to police body camera footage released Friday.

“So what they got you for, man?” someone who is out of the frame asks Duane “Keffe D” Davis, who is handcuffed and sitting in a police car.

“Biggest case in Las Vegas history,” Davis replied and recounted the date, “September 7th, 1996.”

Shakur was fatally shot that night, and police and prosecutors allege Davis was the mastermind behind the drive-by shooting off the Las Vegas Strip. The four videos released Friday, totaling about an hour, show Davis arrested on Sept. 29 while walking near his home in an otherwise quiet neighborhood. In mid-July, police raided Davis’ home, renewing interest in hip-hop’s most enduring mystery.

Davis, 60, had been a long-known suspect in the case, and publicly admitted his role in the killing in interviews ahead of his 2019 tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend.”

The self-described gangster hasn’t yet entered a plea in the case, and he denied a request from The Associated Press for an interview from the jail where he’s being held without bond. His longtime lawyer in Los Angeles, Edi Faal, said he had no comment on Davis’ behalf.

The body camera videos show officers approaching Davis and calling out to him from across the street.

“Hey, Keffe, Metro Police. Come over here,” an officer said.

Davis, holding a water bottle, cooperated as he was patted down and handcuffed. Much of the conversation with police focused on Davis’ request for water.

Later, while being driven on a freeway, Davis does not appear in the video but asks an officer if he was followed the previous night. The officer says no.

“So why you all didn’t bring the media?” Davis asks.

The officer asks why police would bring the media, and Davis replied “That’s what you all do.”

Police and prosecutors allege Davis orchestrated the killing of Shakur and provided his nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, with the gun to do it. Anderson, who denied involvement in Shakur’s killing, died in 1998.

Davis’ first court appearance this week was cut short when he asked the judge for a postponement while he retains counsel. He’s due in court again Oct. 19.


Antczak reported from Los Angeles.