LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The 1996 Las Vegas murder of rapper Tupac Shakur made headlines across the country.

Over 28 years later, a suspect will stand trial in Clark County District Court. Below is a timeline of events in the case, from the 1996 mall robbery attempt that ultimately led to the murder to the suspect’s courtroom motions in 2024.

July, 1996: In a precursor to the events that would unfold later that year, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson and a group of South Side Compton Crips gang members attempted to rob Trevon “Tre” Lane, a member of the rival Mob Piru gang and associate of Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight, in a Foot Locker store at a mall in Lakewood, CA.

September 7, 1996: In what would be his final heavyweight championship victory, Mike Tyson defeated Bruce Seldon by first-round TKO in a bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

After the fight, Lane spotted Anderson inside the hotel near a bank of elevators. Shakur then asked Anderson if he was “from the South” and punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground. Members of Shakur and Knight’s entourage assisted in the assault, which was captured on MGM Grand video surveillance. MGM security guards broke up the brawl.

Shakur returned to his room at the Luxor after the fight and informed his girlfriend about his involvement in the altercation. He changed clothes and left the hotel in a BMW sedan with Knight, intending to perform at a charity concert at a club on Flamingo Road that Knight owned.

Shortly after 11 p.m., Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department bike patrol officers stopped the BMW for playing the car studio too loudly and failing to have a license plate. Plates were found in the trunk of the vehicle and they were released a few minutes later without being cited.

At 11:10 p.m., while stopped at a red light at the intersection of E. Flamingo Road and Koval Lane, Shakur spoke to a pair of women who pulled up beside him. He invited them to his club performance.

At 11:15 p.m., a white, four-door Cadillac pulled up on the sedan’s right. An occupant seated in the backseat rolled down the window and rapidly fired gunshots from a .40 S&W Glock 22 at the BMW.

Shakur was hit four times: twice in the chest, once in the arm and once in the thigh. One of the bullets went into Shakur’s right lung. Knight was hit in the head by fragmentation, according to a Las Vegas police report.

Shakur’s bodyguard, Frank Alexander, later said that he was about to ride along in Knight’s car, but Shakur asked him to drive a different car instead in case they needed multiple vehicles later to return to their hotel.

A rapper named Yaki Kadafi was riding in a car with bodyguards and members of the Death Row entourage directly behind the BMW. He refused to cooperate with police. Kadafi, 19, was found dead from a gunshot wound in a New Jersey apartment building two months later.

Despite his injuries and a flat tire, Knight was able to drive the BMW a mile away, to Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon, where they were once again pulled over by Metro bike patrol officers. Police called paramedics to the scene and Knight and Shakur were taken to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada.

Gobi Rahimi, a Death Row music video director who visited Shakur at the hospital, later reported that he received news from a Death Row marketing employee that the shooters had called the record label and threatened Shakur. Gobi told Las Vegas police, but said they claimed to be understaffed.

No attackers came to the hospital. Shakur said he was dying while being carried into the emergency room.

At the hospital, Shakur was heavily sedated, was placed on life support machines, and was ultimately put into a medically-induced coma after repeatedly trying to get out of bed.

September 8-13, 1996: Knight was released from the hospital the day after the shooting but didn’t speak until three days later. He told investigators that he “heard something, but saw nothing” on the night of the shooting.

A spokesperson for the officers said Knight’s statement did nothing to help the investigation. Officers at the time of Shakur’s hospitalization reported having no leads, and LVMPD Sgt. Kevin Manning said during the week that officers didn’t receive “a whole lot of cooperation” from Shakur’s entourage.

Suge Knight(WKYT)

Rahimi and members of Shakur’s group Outlawz guarded Shakur while he stayed in the hospital due to their fear that whoever shot him was going to “come finish him off.” Rahimi mentioned the possibility that Outlawz brought weapons with them.

While in the critical care unit on the afternoon of Friday, September 13, 1996, Shakur died of respiratory failure that led to cardiac arrest after the removal of his right lung. Doctors attempted to revive him, but could not stop the hemorrhaging. His mother, Afeni, made the decision to cease medical treatment. He was pronounced dead at 4:03 p.m.

1997-1998: One year after the shooting, Sgt. Manning, who headed the investigation, said that Shakur’s murder “may never be solved.” Also in 1997, Shakur’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Orlando Anderson.

LVMPD police briefly considered Anderson as a suspect and interviewed him once.

Anderson, reportedly one of the occupants in the Cadillac, was killed in a gang-related shooting in Los Angeles on May 29, 1998. An officer from the Compton Gang Unit said that Anderson’s murder was due to a disagreement over drug money with a rival gang and was unrelated to the Shakur case.

2002: A Los Angeles journalist published a two-part story based on his year-long investigation into the case. He asserted that Anderson fired the fatal shots that killed Shakur. The article also implicated East Coast rappers, including The Notorious B.I.G., who was previously considered Shakur’s rival.

2004-2018: In a documentary broadcast in 2018, a Crips gang leader named Duane “Keffe D” Davis claimed to have been in the Cadillac when Shakur and Knight were shot. Davis, Anderson’s uncle, said he was in the front seat at the time.

Davis declined to name the shooter, citing “street code.” Despite this, he stated that the car was driven by Terrence “T-Brown” Brown and that Anderson and DeAndrae “Big Dre” Smith were sitting in the backseat of the car—all members of the South Side Crips.

Smith reportedly died of natural causes in 2004. Brown, 53, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in Compton on Sept. 23, 2015.

2019: Davis releases a memoir titled “Compton Street Legend.” In that book, he stated that he was riding in the Cadillac with Shakur’s murderer on the night of the killing and he described the shots coming from the backseat of the vehicle.

“For us, Vegas was another day at the office,” he wrote.

2023: On July 18, 2023, the Las Vegas Police Department executed a search warrant in connection with Shakur’s murder. The search was conducted in a home in Henderson later revealed to belong to the wife of Davis.

Davis, 60, was subsequently arrested in connection with Tupac’s murder on the morning of September 29, 2023.

Duane Davis being arrested by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on Sept. 29, 2023. Davis is...
Duane Davis being arrested by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on Sept. 29, 2023. Davis is accused of being involved in the murder of Tupac Shakur.(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Deportment)

“Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime,” Metro Homicide Lt. Jason Johansson said. “He orchestrated the plan that was carried out.”

Davis made his first appearance in Clark County Justice Court on Oct. 4. That hearing was cut short after Davis informed the court he was still seeking counsel.

Attorney Ross Goodman appeared with Davis during an Oct. 19 hearing and said that he saw “obvious defenses” in the murder case.

Duane Davis
Duane Davis(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

“There’s no gun, there’s no car and there’s no witnesses from 27 years ago,” Goodman told reporters. Goodman added that he did not represent the defendant, and ultimately they were unable to come to terms for the son of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and former Mayor Oscar Goodman to represent Davis.

Davis entered a plea of not guilty on Nov. 2, 2023. Five days later, his trial was scheduled to begin in June, 2024. On Dec. 14, Davis filed a motion “to be released on his own recognizance before the murder trial or, alternatively, for the court to set a ‘reasonable’ bail amount.”

“He is not a threat to the community,” the filing noted. “Additionally, he is not a flight risk.” It asked for a bail amount no higher than $100,000.

2024: On Jan. 9, Clark County District Judge Carli Kierny set the defendant’s bail at $750,000. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told reporters that he expects Judge Kierny will hold a “source hearing” to determine whether money posted for bail is legally obtained.

The judge did not set a new trial date but called for a status check on Feb. 20. During that hearing, Davis’ new attorney, Carl Arnold, asked for a continuance in order to catch up on discovery in the case.

When asked about why he wanted to take this case, Arnold said, “Well, it’s the biggest case since O.J. Why wouldn’t you want to take this case on? It’s going to be a historic case, it’s going to be a challenge.”

Davis’ trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 4.


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