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TUPAC SHAKUR: Chronology of events leading to rapper’s shooting, death and what happened after

TUPAC SHAKUR: Chronology of events leading to rapper’s shooting, death and what happened after

The death of rap icon Tupac Shakur has been the subject of heavy speculation and conspiracy since he was shot 27 years ago – so much so that it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction.

A Nevada grand jury has now charged 60-year-old Duane “Keffe D” Davis – one of the four original suspects of the shooting – with murder.

Sky News looks at what it believed happened before, during and after the shooting in 1996, according to Davis’s own comments, police reports and witness accounts.

READ ALSO: What Tupac Shakur’s father, Billy Garland, said about the late rapper

30 November 1994 – an unrelated attack

Just under two years before the attack that led to Tupac’s death, he was shot, beaten and robbed by three men in the lobby of Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan.

Tupac had been on his way to meet fellow rapper Biggie Smalls in one of the recording rooms when he was attacked.

Tupac openly accused hugely acclaimed rapper Biggie of having prior knowledge of the shooting, which he vehemently denied.

Both rappers were already on opposite sides of the infamous East Coast/West Coast rivalry, which primarily defined the hip-hop scene during the mid-1990s.

READ ALSO: See rare footage of Mike Tyson celebrating with Tupac Shakur the night he was killed

But this moment sparked an even bigger divide within the hip-hop community.

It’s worth noting that Tupac was a West Coast rapper, associated with the Bloods gang, while Smalls – who was a mainstream talent at this point – was an East Coast rapper, associated with the Crips.

The four suspects in Tupac’s murder, according to police and Davis himself, were also members of the Crips.

7 September 1996 – the night of the fatal shooting

Tupac and Marion “Suge” Knight, the head of his music label, Death Row Records, arrived in Las Vegas in the afternoon to watch a heavyweight title fight between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon.

They were accompanied by an entourage that included the rapper’s fiancee, Kidada Jones, his cousins and several friends.


Tupac and Knight took their front row seats at the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The fight swiftly began and ended just minutes later, with Tyson winning in a first-round knockout.


Tupac, a friend of Tyson’s, was seen hugging the fighter just after he had left the ring.


Tupac, Knight and their entourage got into a fight with a group that included Davis – the man who has now been charged in the murder – and his nephew Orlando Anderson.

Davis and Anderson were members of the South Side Compton Crips, and Tupac and Knight had clashed with both men in the past.

READ ALSO: Tupac, Mohbad and rap music

Tensions between Tupac and Knight’s West Side and Davis and Anderson’s South Side were said to be particularly high due to another bust-up several days before.

That incident, in a mall in California, allegedly saw South Side gang members try to steal a Death Row necklace from one of Knight’s affiliates.

On the night of the shooting, surveillance video showed Tupac and Knight kicking and punching Anderson near a bank of elevators before the fight fizzled out.

The fight was over within 10 minutes. Tupac, Knight and their entourage left the MGM Grand.


While police don’t have an exact timeline of the following two hours, they know that members of Tupac’s entourage made a stop at the nearby Luxor Hotel and Casino, where his fiancee was staying, then went to a Las Vegas house that Knight owned.

Police allege that Davis was spending this time getting a gun to use in retaliation for the casino brawl.

In a documentary, Davis said that he, fellow Crips members Terrence “T-Brown” Brown, DeAndre “Dre” Smith and his nephew, Anderson, then waited to confront Tupac and Knight at the 662 club, where Tupac was meant to perform later on.


Tupac was riding in the passenger seat of a black BMW that Knight was driving – a convoy of their entourage behind them.

They were on the way to the club when Tupac and Knight were pulled over by police for not properly displaying license plates and playing music too loud. They were let off with a warning.

Davis said he, Brown, Smith and Anderson grew tired of waiting for Tupac and Knight at around this time, and left the club in a white Cadillac to seek them out.


Tupac and his convoy were near the Las Vegas Strip when a car full of women started driving by Tupac’s side.

The rapper stuck his head out of the sun roof and spoke to the women. He did so, according to Davis, as he and his crew were passing by on the opposite side of the road.

The car carrying the women drove ahead, while Knight and Tupac stopped at a red light. The white Cadillac did a U-turn and pulled up by Tupac’s side of the car.

A gunman then fired more than a dozen rounds. Tupac was hit with four bullets, two of them to his chest. Knight was grazed in the head by a bullet fragment but had only minor injuries.

READ ALSO: Police arrest, charge Duane Davis for 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur

In a memoir, Davis said he was in the front seat and that someone in the back fired the shots.

Police have long suspected that the gunman was Davis’ nephew, Anderson, who was beaten up by Knight and Tupac earlier in the night.

The Cadillac sped off, with one member of Tupac’s entourage shooting at it as it went.

What happened to rapper Tupac Shakur?


Paramedics and police arrived and Tupac was swiftly taken to the University Medical Centre in Vegas.

While there is limited information available regarding Las Vegas police’s investigation in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, a number of Tupac’s friends at the scene allege that officers ordered Knight, who was bleeding from the head, and the rest of Tupac’s entourage out of their vehicles at gunpoint.

The police said they had no way of knowing at the time whether his entourage were victims or suspects.

8 September 1996

Tupac’s entourage, according to the LA Times, were made to sit along a curb near where the attack took place into the early hours of the morning, until homicide detectives arrived.

Lead investigator, Las Vegas homicide sergeant Kevin Manning, told the publication that the witnesses were “extremely uncooperative” when officers took their statements.

Las Vegas police later said 19-year-old rapper Yaki “Kadafi” Fula, who had been in the car directly behind Tupac, was the only witness who told them he might be able to identify the driver of the getaway car.

9 September 1996

Two days after the shooting, a police informant claimed two members of the Crips gang had been spotted driving a white Cadillac to a stereo shop in Compton.

The shop’s owner was known to do bodywork on cars. In Vegas, someone in Tupac’s entourage successfully shot at the vehicle as it fled following the attack, so the informant believed the gang members were having the damage fixed.

Las Vegas police were told this, but said they didn’t trust their Compton counterparts due to past corruption scandals.

13 September 1996

Six days after the shooting, having had a lung removed and remained on a respirator in intensive care, Tupac died at the age of 25.

10 November 1996

Yaki Fula, the 19-year-old rapper in the car behind Tupac, was shot and killed in an unrelated attack in New Jersey.

Following his death, Las Vegas detectives said they had been eager to interview Fula and show him a folder with photos of possible suspects, but never heard from him despite leaving messages with an attorney for his record label, Death Row.

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Sgt Kevin Manning said the young rapper’s death added to the “frustration” of the Tupac investigation – but Fula’s family claimed police exaggerated his importance to the case.

They said the police “lied” by acting as if they had lost their only witness to Tupac’s shooting and used Fula’s death as a “convenient excuse for the failure of their own investigation”.

The force denied these accusations.

February 1997

Tupac’s friend Malcolm Greenridge and his former bodyguard Frank Alexander told the Los Angeles Times that they saw the four people in the car that shots were fired from on 7 September.

They claimed that they had already told the police this information and that they would have cooperated with them if asked to identify the suspects.

Las Vegas police said these claims were “totally inconsistent” with what Greenridge and Alexander had actually told them on the night of the attack, and welcomed the pair to contact them again.

Nothing more came of this back and forth.

9 March 1997

Tupac’s ultimate rival, Biggie Smalls, was shot dead in a drive-by while leaving a party in Los Angeles.

His murder at the age of 24, which remains unsolved to this day, has been intrinsically linked to Tupac’s in rap folklore, predominantly due to their rivalry, the similar nature of their deaths and how close together they occurred.

29 May 1998

Orlando Anderson, the man widely believed to have been the passenger that shot Tupac, was killed in a drug-related shoot-out at a Compton carwash.

He denied having any involvement in Tupac’s murder right up until his own death.

2009 – Date unknown

According to now retired Los Angeles police detective, Greg Kading, Davis was interviewed in 2009 as a person of interest in Biggie Smalls’s death.

Davis had been at the party at the Peterson Automotive Museum that Smalls had just left when he was shot.

Davis answered questions relating to his alleged involvement in Tupac’s death, but had immunity for what he said.

February 2018

Davis, having received a terminal cancer diagnosis, featured in Bet Network’s documentary series, Death Row Chronicles, in which he admitted to being in the front passenger seat of the Cadillac where the shots came from.

He said the car was driven by Brown, while Smith and Davis’s nephew, Anderson, were in the back seat. All three of those men died before the documentary came out.

At this point, when directly asked who fired the shot, Davis answers with a smile: “Going to keep it for the code of the streets. It just came from the back seat, bro”.

15 February 2019

Davis releases his tell-all memoir, Compton Street Legend, in which he reiterates his involvement in the shooting.

He added that, following the shooting, he and the other suspects left the vehicle and “partied like it was any other night”.

Suspect recalls night rapper died

July 2022

Police put out an active warrant for Davis’ arrest after he failed to appear in court on a drug charge.

17 July 2023

Las Vegas police raided a home connected to Davis.

They collected multiple computers, a mobile phone, “documentary documents,” a Vibe magazine that featured Tupac, several .40-caliber bullets, two “tubs containing photographs” and a copy of Davis’ memoir.

28 September 2023

Davis, now 60, was arrested in the morning while on a walk near his home on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

It marked the first time anyone had ever been arrested in the Tupac case.

Hours later, prosecutors announced in court that a Nevada grand jury had indicted him on one count of murder with a deadly weapon.

Detectives investigating the murder said they had been “reinvigorated” by the information Davis had provided to the media in interviews around the release of his memoirs.

4 October 2023

Davis made his first appearance in court.

He was scheduled to be arraigned on the charge, but the hearing was cut short after he asked the judge to postpone the hearing while he retains counsel in Las Vegas.

The case is ongoing.


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