LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A witness told a Las Vegas grand jury who fired the shots that killed rap icon Tupac Shakur in the weeks before the panel voted to indict 60-year-old Duane “Keffe D” Davis on a murder charge, the 8 News Now Investigators have learned.
Las Vegas Metro police arrested Davis near his Henderson home early Friday morning, they said. The grand jury, which met at least five times over the course of three months, voted Thursday to indict Davis on a charge of murder with a deadly weapon with a gang enhancement. Prosecutors announced the indictment Friday.
During the grand jury return hearing, Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo said Davis’ public statements implicated him, adding Davis allegedly ordered Shakur’s death.
About 300 pages of grand jury transcripts include testimony from gang affiliates, friends of Shakur and retired detectives.
The shooting on Sept. 7, 1996, at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane followed a fight earlier in the night. In the hours before the murder, Shakur’s group reportedly attacked Orlando Anderson, a member of a rival gang and Davis’ nephew.
The brawl at the MGM Grand involved members of the two rival gangs, which included security personnel from Shakur’s recording company, documents said. The two groups were both in town for a Mike Tyson fight. After the incident, Davis reportedly ordered a retaliatory hit on Shakur before a performance at Marion “Suge” Knight’s now-closed Club 662.
In court documents, witnesses said Davis, a longtime gang member, was a known drug trafficker. Witnesses said Shakur himself was not in a gang, but affiliated himself with members of the Mob Piru, which itself aligns with the Bloods.
“Keefe is the one who’s going to make all the arrangements and all the plans until that gun goes into somebody else’s hand,” a gang affiliate testified.
Davis refers to himself as “Keffe D” in his book. He is sometimes also referred to as “Keefe D” or “Keefy D.” Prosecutors spelled his name “Keffe D,” though the transcripts spell it a different way.
Davis was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car, which pulled up side-by-side to Tupac’s before the shooting at the intersection, police and prosecutors said. Knight, the then-head of Death Row Records, was driving a BMW sedan with Shakur in the passenger seat.
Davis made several public statements about the night of the shooting, including in TV interviews and in a 2019 book titled “Compton Street Legend: Notorious Keffe D’s Street-Level Accounts of Tupac and Biggie Murders, Death Row Origins, Suge Knight, Puffy Combs, and Crooked Cops.”
“Tupac made an erratic move and began to reach down beneath his seat,” Davis writes in the book. “It was the first and only time in my life that I could relate to the police command, ‘Keep your hands where I can see them.’ Instead, Pac pulled out a strap, and that’s when the fireworks started. One of my guys from the back seat grabbed the Glock and started bustin’ back.”
On Friday, Metro police showed a diagram of the car Davis was in, showing Anderson and a third man, Deandre Smith, sitting in the backseat.
A South Side Crips gang affiliate testified it was Smith, not Anderson, who killed Shakur. Both Anderson and Smith are deceased.
“When [Davis] passed the firearm to Orlando, Orlando didn’t have a clear shot,” the gang affiliate told the grand jury. “Big Dre is six-six. At this time he’s 370, 400. He’s big. And you’re not going to be able to lean over a big guy like that and get — I mean, my time of knowing things, doing — you’re not going to reach over like that because shells would have been popping all in Big Dre’s face and all kind of stuff. He can’t bend down or anything, he’s too big.”
When asked if Smith was the shooter, the gang affiliate told the grand jury: “He did the shooting.”
“Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime, and he orchestrated the plan that was carried out,” LVMPD Lt. Jason Johansson said Friday.
A member of Shakur’s security team told the grand jury what he witnessed, saying he saw the car pull up to the one with Shakur in it and start firing.
In the immediate moments after the shooting, Knight made a U-turn on Flamingo Road toward the Las Vegas Strip. He then drove southbound on Las Vegas Boulevard and then turned left onto Harmon Avenue. Police stopped him just outside of the intersection with some officers responding within 60-90 seconds, documents said.
The member of the security team approached the car. Shakur was wounded in the passenger seat, documents said.
“Get on the ground, they’re going to shoot you,” the witness told the grand jury Shakur told him. He was not talking about Davis’ group, but responding police officers who thought the shooter was among Shakur’s entourage.
There is no statute of limitations for when prosecutors can file murder charges in Nevada. The charge can apply to those who aid or abet in a murder, not just the person accused of pulling the trigger, prosecutors said.
Davis was being held without bail and expected to appear in court Wednesday for his arraignment.