Real Name: Tupac Amaru Shakur
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: September 7, 1996
Details: Twenty-five-year-old Tupac Shakur was a prolific rapper with four platinum albums. He was very well liked, very intelligent, charismatic and loyal to friends, but he was also involved in dangerous gang activity. Tupac was arrested eight times in the early and mid-90's and served an eight-month jail stint for rape during that time as well. In 1994, he was shot five times in a recording studio but survived. His concerned friends worried his gang lifestyle would kill him before he reached his twenty-fifth birthday.
Tupac attended the Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon boxing match on September 7, 1996, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. He attended the match with Marion "Suge" Knight, the CEO of Tupac's recording studio, Death Row Records. The pair were accompanied by unarmed bodyguards as they left the match and headed to Suge's nearby nightclub in his black BMW. At around 11:10pm, they stopped at an intersection and talked to two unidentified women. A white Cadillac pulled up alongside Knight's BMW and a passenger in the back seat of the Cadillac shot Tupac several times with a .40 S&W Glock 22. Knight was struck in the head but not seriously injured. He then drove to a nearby casino to get help as Tupac remained bloodied and injured next to him. Tupac died six days later from four gunshot wounds: two to the chest, one to the arm, and one to the thigh.
Despite thousands of witnesses, only one individual came forward: Yafeu Fula, also known as Yaki Kadafi, one of Tupac's back-up singers. Fula initially stated that he could identify the gunman in a photo lineup, but police sent him home after they interviewed him for a short time. One week later, he returned to his home in New Jersey. Two months later, Fula was shot to death in a stairwell of a housing project. Many believed this was an effort to silence him forever.
In February 1997, two members of Tupac's entourage came forward, claiming that they had told police from the beginning that they had a clear view of the shooter. They claimed that police never asked them to view a photo lineup. Investigators, however, claimed that the witnesses initially denied seeing the shooter.
Although several theories surround Tupac's death, his killer remains unknown.
Suspects: Three hours before the shooting, a security camera at the MGM Grand caught Tupac and his entourage beat up an alleged member of the South Side Crips street gang, twenty-two-year-old Orlando Anderson. The attack was in retaliation for Anderson's assault of a member of Death Row Records that occurred several months earlier. Some believed that the shooting was in retaliation for the attack on Anderson.
Others believed that the shooting was connected to a heated rivalry between Tupac and East Coast rapper Sean "Puffy" Combs. Tupac blamed Puffy and Biggie Smalls for the 1994 attack that nearly killed him. He mentioned this rivalry during a music video released a few months prior to his death. Just weeks before his death, Tupac appeared on a radio show, talking about his rivalry with Combs and Smalls. He claimed that, while in prison, other inmates told him that Smalls was responsible for the 1994 attack.
Still others theorized that Tupac's murder was an inside job, perpetrated by someone in his entourage. This theory is bolstered by the fact that the gunman apparently knew where Tupac would be and only targeted him. It is also bolstered by the fact that none of his bodyguards were armed at the time of the shooting, even though they were armed earlier that evening.
Extra Notes: This segment originally ran on the March 14, 1997 episode.
Tupac was the step-nephew and godson of fugitive Joanne Chesimard.
Results: Unsolved. Yafeu Fula's murder was later solved and determined to be unrelated to Tupac's case. Tupac's case has also been rumored to be linked to the murder of Biggie Smalls, but as yet, no evidence to actually tie the murders together has been found.
Orlando Anderson, the gang member that was beaten up by Tupac and his friends on the night of the murder, was considered a prime suspect in this case. Ironically, in 1998, he was killed in an unrelated shooting. Witnesses stated that around the time of the murder, Anderson was carrying a gun that was the same type of weapon that killed Tupac. He also allegedly bragged about killing a rapper. However, there was never enough evidence to charge him in the case before his death.
In 2011, former detective Greg Kading released a book about Tupac's murder. He claims that Anderson's uncle, Duane Davis, told him that Anderson had shot and killed Tupac. Davis was apparently in the white Cadillac with Anderson when he killed Tupac. Davis also told Kading that he and Anderson were hired by Sean "Puffy" Combs to kill Tupac. Despite these new allegations, no one has been charged in Tupac's murder.
Sadly, Tupac's parents, William and Afeni, have since passed away.
- Tupac Shakur at Unsolved.com
- Tupac Shakur on Wikipedia
- Tupac Shakur on Biography.com
- Star Rapper Tupac Shakur Badly Wounded - September 9, 1996
- Tupac Shakur dies - September 13, 1996
- Rapper Tupac Shakur, 25, Dies 6 Days After Ambush - September 14, 1996
- Shocked Fans, Colleagues Mourn Death of Tupac Shakur a Week after Shooting - September 15, 1996
- 22-year-old arrested in Tupac Shakur killing - October 2, 1996
- 2 say they saw attackers of slain rapper - February 28, 1997
- The Takedown of Tupac - June 29, 1997
- Possible Suspect in Tupac Shakur Death Killed in Shootout - May 30, 1998
- Tupac Murder Suspect Orlando Anderson Dead - June 1, 1998
- Life and death in South Central LA - January 8, 2000
- Who Killed Tupac Shakur? - September 6, 2002
- Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. Murders and ex-LA Times Reporter Chuck Philips: A Timeline - June 22, 2011
- Tupac Shakur still celebrated decades after death - June 16, 2017
- Uncle of Prime Suspect in Tupac's Death Claims to Know Identity of Rapper's Murderer - July 3, 2018
- Tupac murder ‘solved’ as suspect confesses to playing part in shooting - July 3, 2018
- Documented confessions result in calls for LVMPD to close Tupac Shakur murder case - November 22, 2019
- True Crime Files: Shooting death of Tupac Shakur - Marh 11, 2021
- Tupac Shakur at Find a Grave