A man who was a witness to the fatal shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996 was charged with murder Friday in the slaying, prosecutors announced on Friday.
Mr. Davis has long been known to investigators and has himself admitted in interviews and in his 2019 tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend,” that he was in the Cadillac from which gunfire erupted during the September 1996 drive-by shooting that left Shakur, 25, dead.
The prosecutor said Friday that evidence shows that Mr. Davis "ordered the death" of Shakur and also described the suspect as the "on-site commander."
“It has often been said that justice delayed is justice denied,” District Attorney Steve Wolfson told The Associated Press after a court hearing Friday, saying that the grand jury has heard evidence in the case for months. “In this case, justice has been delayed, but justice won’t be denied.”
Shakur, who was one of the most popular rappers in the country at the time, was shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas before he died about a week later in September 1996. His death has remained an unsolved mystery for 27 years, with no arrests until now.
Mr. Davis previously admitted to being there when the rapper was shot. Reports have said that Mr. Davis is the only living witness who was in the vehicle when Shakur was gunned down in the drive-by shooting.
On Friday, Clark County District Judge Jerry Wiese denied Mr. Davis bail, reported AP. It wasn’t immediately clear if the suspect has an attorney who can comment on his behalf.
On Sept. 7, 1996, Shakur was in a BMW driven by infamous Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight in a convoy of about 10 cars. They were waiting at a red light near the Las Vegas Strip when a white Cadillac pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted. Shakur was shot multiple times and died a week later.
According to Mr. Carroll, he asked the rapper" who did it, who shot him, what happened? And that’s when he responded to me with the now infamous words ‘F-U.’”
In his memoir, Mr. Davis said he was in the front passenger seat of the Cadillac and had slipped the gun used in the killing into the backseat, from where he said the shots were fired.
Mr. Davis implicated his nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, saying he was one of two people in the backseat. Anderson, a known rival of the rapper, had been involved in a casino brawl with Shakur shortly before the shooting. Anderson denied any involvement in the rapper’s death. Anderson was shot and killed in a 1998 gang shooting in Los Angeles.
After the casino brawl, “Mr. Davis formulated a plan to exact revenge upon Mr. Knight and Mr. Shakur” in his nephew’s defense, Mr. DiGiacomo said Friday.
On Friday, the rapper's stepbrother, Mopreme Shakur, told CNN that the arrest is "bittersweet." However, he said the family still wants to know the reason why and if Mr. Davis had accomplices.
The 1996 murder was followed six months later by the gunning down of his main rival, Brooklyn-based rapper Christopher "The Notorious BIG" Wallace. Some believe that the two were killed as part of the infamous 1990s rivalry that had existed between rappers on the West and East Coasts, although some analysts have said that the rift was exaggerated to sell more albums.