How Did Tupac Die? The Road to Long-Awaited Justice [UPDATED 2023]

who killed tupac rappers who got shot
Rome, January 11, 2019: Collection of covers and cd inserts of the singer Tupac Shakur, considered by many to be one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time. selective focus. Image from shutterstock.

You may not have met him when he was alive and on his grind, but you must have heard his name at one point in time. Tupac Amaru Shakur, known by his performance name 2Pac and later by his identity Makaveli, was and still is arguably the most influential rapper in history. Currently, he is still one of the world’s best-selling artists, with more than 75 million albums sold worldwide. The majority of Tupac’s music addresses current social issues plaguing inner communities, and he was seen as an activist of anti-inequality.

The topic of Tupac’s death has grown to be very interesting over the years, following the theories and conspiracies that have spread regarding the nature and validity of his death. 

So, how did Tupac die, and what’s the status of finding his murderer? Find out that and more below. 

How Did Tupac Die?

Tupac’s cause of death was ultimately the result of multiple gunshot wounds obtained in a drive-by shooting on September 7, 1996.

Earlier in the evening, Tupac and his friend Marion “Suge” Knight, the head of Death Row Records, attended a boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Following the boxing match, the drama soon began and would be the start of years of trying to figure out who ultimately murdered Tupac.

In the lobby of the MGM Grand, video surveillance captured a brawl between Shakur and his friends and the South Side Compton Crips gang’s Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson. When hotel security broke up the fight, Shakur and Knight returned to the Luxor Las Vegas hotel to change before they left in a BMW sedan and headed to Club 662, where Shakur was scheduled to perform.

On the way, the pair were stopped by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Bike Patrol officers due to excessive noise from their car stereo and a lack of license plates. They were, however, released shortly without being cited.

Minutes after they were released, the BMW came to a halt at a red light on East Flamingo Road and Koval Lane, near The Maxim Hotel (which closed on November 21, 1999), in Las Vegas, Nevada, at approximately 11:10 p.m., where they briefly chatted with two women whom they had sighted because their car was in close range with theirs.

At precisely 11:15 p.m., it was then that a white four-door Cadillac drove up to the passenger side of the BMW. 

The shooter, seated in the back of the Cadillac, rolled down the window and fired rounds at Tupac’s BMW with a .40 S&W Glock 22.

Sitting in the passenger seat, Tupac Shakur was struck by two bullets in the chest (with one puncturing his right lung), one in the arm, and one in the thigh. 

Despite his head injuries where bullet fragmentations hit him in the head and a flat tire, Knight drove Tupac and himself a mile away from the crime scene to Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue. There, they were stopped again by the Bike Patrol, who radioed paramedics. Both were taken to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where Tupac would eventually succumb to his wounds. 

a mural of Tupac
A graffiti mural dedicated to Tupac. Photo taken in 2011. Photo by r2hox from Madrid, Spain.

So, who killed Tupac Shakur?

Until recently, there was no conclusion as to who killed Tupac. 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 unwilling to speak about it.

Conspiracies surrounding law enforcement’s unwillingness to uncover the truth behind Tupac’s death and bring perpetrators to responsibility came about shortly after Manning’s interview. 

E.D.I. Mean, a man who was a member of the Outlawz and an ally of Tupac, alleged that law enforcement knew details about Tupac’s death but was unwilling to deliver justice. 

As time passed, other reports started filing in on the murder of Tupac. In 2002, Chuck Philips, a Los Angeles writer, published a two-part report titled “Who Killed Tupac Shakur?”

According to Philips, “The shooting was carried out by the Southside Crips, a Compton gang, in retaliation for Shakur’s beating of one of their members just hours before the shooting.”

It alleged that the fatal rounds were fired by Orlando Anderson, the person whom Shakur had attacked. Anderson was considered a suspect by Las Vegas cops, but he was only interviewed once. Then, nearly two years later, Anderson passed away following an unrelated gang shooting. 

Other rappers, including The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac’s opponent at the time, and other New York City gangsters, were also named in Philips’ story.

Philips released a second article, where he evaluated the irresponsibility of the Las Vegas cops to carry out the necessary investigations successfully and adequately surrounding Tupac’s death. 

According to his report, Las Vegas police made the mistake of dismissing the fight just hours before the shooting where Shakur allegedly beat up Anderson in the M.G.M. Grand lobby. 

They also failed to follow up with one of Shakur’s squad members who had witnessed the shooting and told the Las Vegas police that he could identify one or more of the assailants and was willing to, but he was killed shortly before his interview. 

Lastly, Philips said police didn’t follow up on a lead one of the eyewitnesses provided about a white Cadillac that looked like the one from which the shooters shot their fatal rounds and fled. 

More conspiracies surrounding Tupac’s death continued to spread, leading the F.B.I. to publish documents due to a Freedom of Information Act request in 2011. 

This request showed their investigation of the Jewish Defense League, which extorted protection money from Shakur and other rappers after sending them death threats. This was according to Haaretz, an Israeli daily. 

In 2017, Knight revealed that he was the target of the assassination attempt that killed Shakur, claiming that it hit him as part of a plot to seize control of Death Row Records. 

Some people, like Philips, have also speculated that the Notorious B.I.G. was responsible for Tupac’s death, thanks to their well-known rivalry. 

The rapper, whose name was Christopher Wallace, denied knowing about Tupac’s death, and, according to the record of his family’s electronic bills, a report had it that Wallace was recording a song at a New York City recording studio at the time of Tupac’s attack. 

Wallace’s manager, Wayne Barrow, and Lil’ Cease, a fellow rapper, supported this alibi, saying they were with him at the New York City studio at the time of the incident.  

Furthermore, no substantial evidence that could link Wallace to the assassination of Tupac was found, and he died six months later following another drive-by shooting by undiscovered assassins on March 9, 1997. He later passed away as a result of his injuries at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

It seemed as though this was a case that was never going to be solved, that is, until September 29, 2023, when it was announced that a suspect was arrested in Las Vegas in relation to the murder. 

According to CNN, Las Vegas police arrested Duane Keith Davis, aka “Keffe D,” concerning the then-27-year-old incident, believing that Davis orchestrated the crime with several others. A grand jury later indicted him on murder charges with a deadly weapon.

“I think the best way to characterize that is Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime, and he orchestrated the plan that was carried out to commit this crime,” said Lt. Jason Johansson of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

In addition, Steve Wolfson, a Clark County district attorney, noted that under Nevada Law, even if Davis was not the shooter, he can still be charged due to the state’s “aiding and abetting statute.” 

“So, if you helped somebody commit a crime, you can be equally as guilty,” he said. 

What led to Davis’ arrest so many years later? His own words. 

“Davis admitted his role in the murder to police in 2009, but because it came as part of a proffer agreement, which precluded any of the statements being used against him, he was not charged,” according to former police detective Greg Kading who was initially involved in investigating Tupac’s murder, CNN reports. “A proffer is an agreement between a prosecutor and a suspect in which the individual agrees to provide the government with potentially useful information regarding an investigation; however, the statements made generally cannot be used as evidence against the person.” 

Despite this, Davis recently made a stupid choice to boast about his involvement in the murder, causing law enforcement to revisit his initial words. 

“This was likely our last time to take a run at this case to successfully solve this case and bring forth a criminal charge,” Lt. Johansson said. 

Davis is set to appear in court in the coming days. 

who killed tupac rappers who got shot
Rome, January 11, 2019: Collection of covers and cd inserts of the singer Tupac Shakur, considered by many to be one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time. selective focus. Image from shutterstock.

When Did Tupac Die?

Tupac Amaru Shakur, aka 2Pac, aka Makaveli, died on September 13, 1996, at Southern Nevada University Medical Center. In the days after the shooting and leading up to his death, Tupac attempted to get out of his bed several times, which led to him being heavily sedated, placed on life support, and eventually put into a medically induced coma. 

He died in the critical care unit from a respiratory failure caused by cardiac arrest due to the removal of his right lung, which had been punctured by one of the four bullets that led to Tupac’s cause of death. 

Doctors attempted to resuscitate him, but they could not stop the bleeding. His mother, Afeni, decided to have her son stop receiving medical treatment, and he was pronounced deceased at 4:03 p.m. (PDT).

A year later, Tupac’s autopsy spread majorly when the book The Killing of Tupac Shakur was released. Because of an autopsy photo featured in its pages, the book made headlines when it was released in September 1997, on the first anniversary of Shakur’s death. 

It was the first book about the rapper’s death to be published. Many people claimed that Tupac’s autopsy didn’t fit the description of his death. However, this was only according to some conspiracy theories claiming that Tupac faked his death and is still alive. 

There have even been claims and reports of Tupac’s sighting in one or two places. However, the validity of this information is questionable because the authorities in charge confirmed the validity of Tupac’s autopsy. 

How Old was Tupac When He Died?

Tupac was only 25 years old when he was officially deceased. 

At the time of his death, he was already one of the leading names and most prominent personalities in 1990s gangster rap. Along with Snoop Dogg, Shakur was considered one of the top two American rappers of the 1990s. 

Shakur “had helped transform rap from a crude street fad to a nuanced art form, setting the foundation for the current global hip-hop boom,” music journalist Chuck Philips said.

With his time being cut short, there is no doubt that Tupac achieved a lot at a young age and created a lot for himself and the rap game, a legacy that would last generations. 

Where is Tupac Buried?

According to a recent report, Tupac’s funeral was considered one of the most iconic funerals of all time, with hundreds attending.

A day after Tupac’s funeral, which featured an open casket, the late rapper was cremated. His ashes were then given to his mother. On the tenth anniversary of his death in 2006, his mother transported Tupac’s ashes to Soweto, South Africa, to meet Nelson Mandela. According to her, the events that occurred there are a significant part of her history, and it will be an honor for her son to be buried there.

Who Inherited Tupac’s Money?

Before we can answer this question, we must ask ourselves, ‘How much money did Pac have when he died?’ At the time of his death, Tupac’s estate was worth approximately $105 million. This was primarily due to his status as one of the best-selling music artists of all time. 

The entirety of Tupac’s estate, according to Tupac’s will, went to his mother, Afeni Shakur, whom he was survived by. The year following her son’s death, Afeni founded Amaru Entertainment, which oversees Tupac’s posthumous releases as well as manages his intellectual property rights. 

Shakur was also survived by his six siblings. 

tupac shakurs figure at madam tussands in las vegas
Image from Shutterstock.

What Were Tupac’s Last Words?

Nearly 20 years after Tupac Shakur’s death, one of the police officers who reported to the scene of the fatal shooting revealed Tupac’s last words. He noted that instead of letting officers know who his killer was, he instead shouted an insult at them. 

Former police officer Chris Carroll shared the whole story with Billboard

“So, I’m looking at Tupac … and I’m asking him, ‘Who shot you? What happened? Who did it?’ And he was just kind of ignoring me. He was making eye contact with me here and there … [but] he basically kept ignoring me,” Carroll recalled. “And then I saw in his face, in his movements, all of a sudden in the snap of a finger, he changes. And he went from struggling to speak, being noncooperative, to an ‘I’m at peace’ type of thing. 

“He went from fighting to ‘I can’t do it.’ And when he made that transition, he looked at me, and he’s looking right in my eyes. And that’s when I looked at him and said one more time, ‘Who shot you?’” he continued. “He looked at me, and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth, and I thought I was actually going to get some cooperation. And then the words came out: ‘[expletive] you.” 

Who Did Tupac Marry?

Before his death, Tupac Shakur was briefly married to pre-law student Keisha Morris. They were married on April 29, 1995, but she didn’t keep the title of his wife for long. The marriage was annulled just ten months later. 

Did 2 Pac Have Kids?

Tupac never had children. 


The story of Tupac Shakur’s death has been a gut-wrenching one as friends, family, and fans have waited nearly three decades to receive any kind of justice.

Throughout that time, however, he has never been forgotten as Shakur initiated hip hop’s celebration of rags-to-riches success, poetic lyricism, and political undercurrents, selling over 75 million albums worldwide both in his life and posthumously. Since Shakur’s death, five more albums have been published, all of which have been certified Platinum in the United States, proving that he’s just as loved now as he was then. 

Now, all we can say, since it seems justice will finally be served, is that we hope he is resting in peace. 

You May Also Like: 

Written by Bo Weber

Supporting artists since 2014


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





tate mcrae's net worth tate mcrae on the red carpet in a black dress

Tate McRae’s Net Worth and Biography: Her Cars, House, Career, and More

most famous female celebrities natalie portman in a white dress arriving at an event.

The 27 Most Popular Female Celebrities of All Time