Twenty-six years after Tupac Shakur’s fatal shooting, the case remains open despite several reported leads and a confession. Tupac Shakur was one of gangsta rap’s biggest stars – famed for his hit Ghetto Gospel. But he got caught in a collision of cultures when inner-city gangs met up with the multibillion-dollar record industry. He died six days after being struck by four bullets from a handgun. But who killed Tupac Shakur, what happened during the shooting ???
HOW DID TUPAC DIE?
Till now, there has still been no conclusion as to who killed Tupac Shakur.
In Las Vegas on September 7, 1996, for the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon boxing match. Shakur and others in his entourage were captured on tape in the lobby of the MGM Grand hotel engaging in a violent scuffle with a man later identified as a member of the Los Angeles-based Crips street gang.
Two hours later, Shakur is gunned down in his black BMW as it idles at a red light on Flamingo Road and Koval Lane.
Four .40 caliber bullets: two in the chest, one in the thigh, and one in the arm.
They’d end the life of a legend.
Six days after the shooting, Tupac Shakur died.
He was 25.
A DEAFENING CODE OF SILENCE !
The culprit behind this shooting was never found. The year after the incident, Sgt. Kevin Manning, who led the investigation, reported to Las Vegas Sun investigative writer Cathy Scott that Tupac’s murder “may never be solved.”
He claimed that the inquiry couldn’t yield any positive result. Because there were no reliable clues. And the witnesses at the time of the incident were not willing to speak about it. Therefore the probe has been put to an end.
E.D.I. Mean, a man who was a member of the Outlawz and an ally of Tupac alleged that the law enforcement knew details about Tupac’s death. But was unwilling to deliver justice.
An immediate wall of silence was erected by the Death Row crew, who refused to name the shooter.
Despite being hit in the head by bullet fragments and spending the night in hospital, Suge told police he, “heard something, but saw nothing.”
He’d later quip, “It’s not my job. I don’t get paid to solve homicides. I don’t get paid to tell on people.”
Tupac himself refused to name his killer at the murder scene. Whispering ‘f*** you’ to an investigating police officer in what would apparently be his last words before his death on Friday, September 13, 1996.
SO WHO KILLED TUPAC SHAKUR?
The main suspect was Orlando Anderson, who’d been attacked by Tupac and his crew in the lobby of Las Vegas’ MGM Grand casino earlier that night.
Anderson, then 21, was said to be a member of the rival Crips gang. He had allegedly stolen a medallion from one of Tupac’s entourage.
He later denied having had anything to do with the killing and filed a lawsuit against Tupac’s estate for damages for injuries sustained in the beating.
Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur responded by attempting to sue Anderson for wrongful death. According to the Associated Press, the lawsuits were settled in May 1998, just hours before Anderson was killed in an unrelated gang shooting.
Meanwhile, with no arrests made, Las Vegas police claimed their investigation had stalled due to a lack of co-operation from Tupac’s entourage.
However, a report by the Los Angeles Times suggested that some of the gang members did offer information. But were ignored.
The article accused officers of failing to follow up with Tupac’s close friend, Yafeu “Kadafi” Fula, who said he could identify the killer. Fula was killed weeks later in an unrelated shooting.
It was also claimed police ignored a report about a sighting of a rented white Cadillac, and refused to believe the earlier brawl was between two gangs rather than a random attack.
Sgt. Kevin Manning, who led the investigation, defended his team’s work, insisting, “Tupac got the same treatment as any other homicide here.”
“But you know what? We can’t do it alone. We rely on cooperative citizens to step forward and help us solve crimes. And in Tupac’s case, we got no cooperation whatsoever.”
WHY WERE KILLER NEVER CAUGHT?
The case lay dormant for more than 20 years until Anderson’s uncle Keefe D – who was dying of cancer – suddenly broke his silence.
He claimed that he and his nephew were with two other men in the car that fateful night.
But he refused to break the ‘street code’ by revealing who the shooter was, stating only, ”It just came from the backseat, bro.”
And earlier this year he finally revealed exactly why Tupac was shot, hinting that the rapper fired first.
“The s*** was on. Tupac made an erratic move and began to reach down beneath his seat” he wrote in his book, Compton Street Legend.
“It was the first and only time of my life 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 backseat grabbed a Glock and started busting back.”
Revealing how the first bullet skinned Suge’s head, Keefe rubbished claims that Suge hid behind Tupac.
“I thought that m*********** was dead,” he wrote.
“I’d heard some stories that Suge used Tupac as a shield when the bullets started flying but that’s some b*****. Suge was already wounded and he was the one that got touched.
“As the rounds continued flying I ducked down so I wouldn’t get hit.”
Despite his confession, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that after reviewing the evidence, the homicide case remains open.
”We are aware of the statements made regarding the Tupac case. As a result of those statements we have spent the last several months reviewing the case in its entirety,” a spokesperson said.
”Various reports that an arrest warrant is about to be submitted are inaccurate. This case still remains an open homicide case.”
TUPAC WAS 25 YEARS OLD WHEN HE WAS SHOT AND KILLED.
Shakur was a significant American character born into poverty and raised by two former Black Panthers.
He initiated hip hop’s celebration of rags-to-riches success, poetic lyricism, and political undercurrents, selling over 75 million albums worldwide. Rapper Tupac Shakur remains one of the most recognizable faces and voices in hip-hop. A steady stream of posthumous album releases has kept his name near the top of lifetime sales rankings. And artistic efforts like the 2003 film Tupac: Resurrection have kept his image and music current among fans who were far too young to have seen and heard him perform while he was still alive. His recording career came to an end with his death at the age of 25. But like another famous rapper with whom his story is intertwined, Shakur has only grown in stature with each passing year since his still-unsolved murder.