Real Name: Tupac Shakur
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: September 7, 1996
Details: Tupac Shakur was a prolific rapper with four platinum albums before he was gunned down on September 7th, 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was very well liked, very intelligent, charismatic and loyal to friends, but he was 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 7th, 1996, at the MGM Grand Hotel. 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 headed to Suge's nearby nightclub in his black BMW after the match that night. 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 shot Tupac Shakur. Suge Knight drove for help at a nearby casino as Tupac remained bloodied and injured next to him. Shakur died six days later from five gunshot wounds to the chest.
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 line-up, 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 of 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 claim that police never asked them to view a photo line-up. Investigators, however, claim that the witnesses initially denied seeing the shooter.
Tupac Shakur's killer is still 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. Some believed that the shooting was in retaliation for the attack.
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.
Results: Unresolved. Yafeu Fula's murder was later determined to be unrelated to Tupac's case. The murder of Tupac Shakur 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 was the gang member that was beaten up by Tupac and his friends on the night of the murder. Anderson was considered a prime suspect in this case; then, in 1998, he was also 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. However, there was never enough evidence to charge him in the case.
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.
- Tupac Shakur at Unsolved.com
- Tupac Shakur on Wikipedia
- Star Rapper Tupac Shakur Badly Wounded
- Rapper Tupac Shakur, 25, Dies 6 Days After Ambush
- 2 say they saw attackers of slain rapper
- Possible Suspect in Tupac Shakur Death Killed in Shootout
- Who Killed Tupac Shakur? (Los Angeles Times)
- Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. Murders and ex-LA Times Reporter Chuck Philips: A Timeline
- Yafeu Fula at Find a Grave