Tupac Shakur cold case: Police videos show man, woman detained during home raid in Vegas

Police lapel videos captured the moments a couple was detained by Las Vegas SWAT officers during a nighttime raid at a home in July in connection with the cold case killing of rapper Tupac Shakur.

The 24 heavily redacted videos obtained Thursday by The Associated Press do not provide a view into the home or identify the couple, whose faces were blurred from view as the officers shouted commands to “come out with your hands up and your hands empty!”

But a copy of the warrant said police were searching on the night of July 17 for items “concerning the murder” of Shakur from Duane “Keffe D” Davis, one of the last surviving witnesses to a crime that has fascinated the public for decades.

Tupac Investigation-Las Vegas
In this Monday evening, July 17, 2023 image taken from police body camera video provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Las Vegas police SWAT officers, some carrying shields, enter a home in the nearby city of Henderson, Nev., in connection with the 1997 killing of rapper Tupac Shakur near the Las Vegas Strip. 

/ AP

Authorities have been tight-lipped about their investigation. Beyond a brief statement released last month confirming their raid in the nearby city of Henderson, they haven’t released any information about the long-dormant case, including why they had obtained a warrant now to collect items from a man who has long been known to investigators.

Davis, now 60, is a self-described “gangster” and the uncle of one of Shakur’s known rivals who was seen as a suspect early on in the police investigation.

The newly released videos showed the couple emerging from the garage, spotlight on them, after a SWAT officer on a bullhorn repeatedly announced their arrival.

“It’s the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department,” the officer said. “We have a search warrant. You need to come out with your hands up and your hands empty!”

Meanwhile, another officer was on the phone with the woman, asking her to stay calm and to exit through the garage, according to one of the videos.

“I want you to stay on the phone with me,” the SWAT officer told her. “Open up that door, OK?”

“Please don’t shoot me,” the woman responded.

One at a time, with hands on their heads, the man and woman walked slowly down the driveway to the officers and into a swirl of red and blue police lights illuminating the neighborhood.

“Who you looking for? Me?” the man said while the officers zip-tied his hands behind his back. He was wearing dark shorts, a tank-top and a black shirt.

Tupac Investigation-Las Vegas
In this Monday evening, July 17, 2023 image taken from police body camera video provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, an unidentified man and woman are seen as SWAT officers raided a home in the nearby city of Henderson, Nev., in connection with the 1997 killing of rapper Tupac Shakur near the Las Vegas Strip. 

/ AP

The officers asked the man for his name, but the video’s audio cut off when he answered. He told police only he and his wife were inside the home.

Messages left at phone numbers publicly listed for Davis and his wife were not returned, and it wasn’t immediately clear if Davis has a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.

The videos don’t show the actual police search. But according to the search warrant, detectives reported collecting multiple computers, a cellphone and hard drive, a magazine that featured Shakur, several .40-caliber bullets, “tubs containing photographs” and a copy of Davis’ 2019 tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend.”

In the book, Davis said he first broke his silence over Tupac’s killing in a closed-door meeting with federal and local authorities in 2010. He was 46 and facing life in prison on drug charges when he agreed to speak with them.

“They promised they would shred the indictment and stop the grand jury if I helped them out,” Davis wrote.

Shakur was gunned down on the night of Sept. 7, 1996, while waiting at a red light near the Las Vegas Strip in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight. A white Cadillac pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted, striking Shakur multiple times. The 25-year-old rapper died a week later.

Davis, in his memoir, admitted to being inside the Cadillac. He said he “tossed” the weapon used in the attack into the back seat and implicated his nephew, Orlando Anderson, saying he was one of two people in the back of the car where the shots were fired.

The shooting happened shortly after a casino brawl earlier in the evening involving Anderson, Shakur and others.

Anderson denied any involvement in Shakur’s killing. He died two years later in a shooting in Compton, California. Davis describes himself in his memoir as the only living witness among the four men in the Cadillac. Knight, who survived the drive-by shooting, is serving prison time in California for running a man over in 2015 with his pickup truck, killing him.

In 2019, Greg Kading, a retired Los Angeles police detective, alleged to CBS News Los Angeles that Shakur’s murder had already been solved after Davis confessed to his involvement in the killing of Shakur while being questioned in connection with the murder of Biggie Smalls.

But at the time, Las Vegas police only said that the case was still an open investigation. 

In June, Shakur posthumously received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in honor of his contributions to the arts, as well as his activism for racial equality.

In May the city council in Oakland, California unanimously voted to rename a stretch of MacArthur Boulevard between Grand Avenue and Van Buren Avenue, where the rapper once lived, as “Tupac Shakur Way.” 

The rapper influenced the hip-hop genre and amassed a global fan base, selling over 75 million records worldwide and winning six Grammy Award nominations during his short five-year recording career. 

Gina Martinez contributed to this report.

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