The family of Tupac Shakur are ‘pleased’ that a man has been charged with his murder following his 1996 drive-by shooting, a Las Vegas district attorney said.
Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis, one of the last living witnesses to the drive-by shooting, was arrested on a walk near his home in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson on Friday.
He was then charged by a Nevada grand jury with one count of open murder with use of the deadly weapon with a gang enhancement, according to Clark County Las Vegas district attorney Steve Wolfson.
The arrest, the first ever made in a nearly 30-year-long investigation, comes two months after police searched a Las Vegas home in connection to the murder.
During a press conference, Wolfson said: ‘The family has reached out to my office, I imagine also to (police), we’ve been in communication with them.
‘We understand that they are welcoming this news, they are pleased with this news and they are certainly aware of the return of this indictment.’
He described Shakur as a ‘musical legend’ before adding: ‘For a long time, this community and worldwide have been wanting justice for Tupac.
Today we are taking that first step. Tupac was actually quoted as saying “Death is not the greatest loss in life, the greatest loss is what dies inside while still alive”. Never surrender. Well, we didn’t surrender thanks to the great work of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
‘This is the indictment we’ve been waiting almost three decades for. It spells out the facts and circumstances and what justifies a Clark County grand jury in returning an indictment and justice will be served.’
Shakur was 25 when he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas Strip on the night of September 7 1996.
He was killed while travelling in a black BMW as part of a larger convoy at about 11.15pm on September 7, 1996.
The killer pulled up to the passenger side of Shakur’s car and rapidly fired shots at the musician which hit his arm, thigh, right lung and chest.
Shakur was rushed to the intensive care at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada where he was heavily sedated and put on life support.
He was pronounced dead six days after the attack on September 13 and died from respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest sustained from the shooting.
Shakur was feuding at the time with rap rival Biggie Smalls, also known as the Notorious B.I.G., who was fatally shot in March 1997.
At the time, both rappers were in the middle of an East Coast-West Coast rivalry that primarily defined the hip-hop scene during the mid-1990s.
Earlier this year, Shakur honoured with a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a ceremony attended by his sister Sekyiwa ‘Set’ Shakur, who said it had been a childhood dream of his.
The recognition comes one month after it was revealed the Keep Ya Head Up would have a stretch of street named after him in California following a unanimous vote by the city council.
Reports suggested the street where the late artist once lived – MacArthur Boulevard by Lake Merritt – would adopt the rapper’s moniker to its existing title and would also be known as Tupac Shakur Way.
In October, the estate-authorised biography of Tupac is due to be published, written by author and screenwriter Staci Robinson, who knew him as a young man.
Widely considered one of the most influential rap artists of all time though his career lasted just five years, Shakur sold more than 75 million records worldwide.
Both 1996’s All Eyez On Me and his Greatest Hits collection have been certified Diamond, surpassing the 10 million mark and placing them among the top-selling albums of all time.
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, from a groundbreaking performance via hologram at the 2012 Coachella Music Festival, to a spoken-word appearance on Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly.
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