LAS VEGAS - A home that Las Vegas police searched this week in connection with the 1996 drive-by shooting of Tupac Shakur is tied to a man long known to investigators, whose nephew had emerged as a suspect shortly after the rapper's killing.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed it served a search warrant Monday in the neighboring city of Henderson. But the department hasn't released other details, including whether they expect to make an arrest for the first time in the slaying of the rapper nearly 30 years ago.
Public records, including voting records, link the property to the wife of Duane "Keffe D" Davis, a self-described "gangster" and the uncle of Orlando Anderson, one of Shakur’s known rivals who authorities have long suspected in the rapper’s death. Anderson denied involvement in Shakur’s killing at the time, and died two years later in an unrelated gang shooting in Compton, California.
A copy of the warrant obtained Thursday by The Associated Press shows detectives collected multiple computers, a cellular telephone, "documentary documents," a Vibe magazine that featured Shakur, several .40-caliber bullets, two "tubs containing photographs" and a copy of Davis’ 2019 memoir, "Compton Street Legend."
Rapper Tupac Shakur poses for a portrait at Club Amazon on July 23, 1993 in New York, New York. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Residents of a suburban small Henderson neighborhood — nestled in the foothills of the city about 20 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip — said they saw officers detain two people outside the home while investigators searched the one-story property.
"There were cruisers and SWAT vehicles. They had lights shining on the house," said Don Sansouci, 61, who had just gone to bed with his wife when a swirl of blue and red police lights stirred them awake sometime after 9 p.m.
Sansouci said he watched from the sidewalk Monday night as a man and a woman stepped outside of a house surrounded by police, place their hands behind their heads and slowly walk backwards toward the officers.
The case is being presented to a grand jury in Las Vegas, according to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly. The timing and results of those proceedings was unclear, and the person did not identify the two people whom police encountered at the house.
The person confirmed that investigators seized computers, published materials and photos, along with copies of Davis’ 2019 memoir titled "Compton Street Legend."
Sansouci said he and his wife don’t know the people who live in the home. He described the area as "a nice, quiet cul-de-sac neighborhood" where most residents keep to themselves.
It was not immediately known if Davis has a lawyer who can comment on his behalf, and messages left for Davis and his wife, Paula Clemons, weren’t returned. Records show the two were married in Clark County, Nevada, in 2005.
News of the search breathed new life into Shakur's long-unsolved killing, which has been surrounded by conspiracy theories. There have never been any arrests, yet attention on the case has endured for decades.
Shakur’s death came as his fourth solo album, "All Eyez on Me," remained on the charts, with some 5 million copies sold. Nominated six times for a Grammy Award, Shakur is largely considered one of the most influential and versatile rappers of all time.
On the night of Sept. 7, 1996, Shakur was riding in a black BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight in a convoy of about 10 cars. They were waiting at a red light a block from the Las Vegas Strip when a white Cadillac pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted. Shakur was shot multiple times and died days later.
The shooting unfolded shortly after a casino brawl earlier in the evening involving Anderson, Shakur and their associates.
There were many witnesses, but the investigation quickly stalled, in part because those witnesses refused to cooperate, Las Vegas police said in the past.
That silence broke, to a point, in 2018, when Davis — saying he was ready to speak publicly after a cancer diagnosis — admitted to being in the front seat of the Cadillac. In an interview for a BET show, he implicated his nephew in the shooting, saying Anderson was one of two people in the backseat.
Davis said the shots were fired from the back of the car, though he stopped short of naming the shooter, saying he had to abide by the "code of the streets."
But in his memoir, Davis said he shared what he knew nearly a decade earlier in closed-door meetings with federal and local authorities who were investigating the possibility that Shakur's slaying was linked to the March 1997 drive-by shooting of his rap rival, the Notorious B.I.G.
"They offered to let me go for running a "criminal enterprise" and numerous alleged murders for the truth about the Tupac and Biggie murders," Davis said in his book. "They promised they would shred the indictment and stop the grand jury if I helped them out."
At the time of their deaths, both rappers were involved in an infamous East Coast-West Coast rivalry that primarily defined the hip-hop scene during the mid-1990s. The feud was ignited after Shakur was seriously wounded in another shooting during a robbery in the lobby of a midtown Manhattan hotel.
Shakur openly accused B.I.G. and Sean "Diddy" Combs of having prior knowledge of the shooting, which both vehemently denied. It sparked a serious divide within the hip-hop community and fans.
Davis wrote that he "went ahead and started answering their questions about the events leading up to Tupac getting shot."
"I sang because they promised I would not be prosecuted," he said, adding that he thought they were lying about the deal. "But they kept their word and stopped the indictment, tore up the whole case. Nobody went to jail."
It's unclear if Davis has been living in the home Las Vegas police searched this week and whether he was present when officers descended on the property. Las Vegas court records show there has been an active warrant out for his arrest since July 2022, when he failed to appear in court on a drug charge.
Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.