(NewsNation) — The family of Tupac Shakur is closer to getting justice 27 years after the iconic hip-hop artist was gunned down in Las Vegas.
Police announced Friday they’ve made an arrest and filed charges in the 1996 drive-by shooting. Duane “Keefe D” Davis has long been known to investigators as one of four suspects identified early in the investigation.
“I’m taken aback after so many years of dealing with this trauma,” Shakur’s brother, Mopreme Shakur, said Friday on “CUOMO.” “I’m cautiously optimistic. Any accountability at this point is good for us. It helps us heal.”
Davis isn’t the accused gunman but was described as the group’s ringleader by authorities Friday at a news conference and in court. In Nevada, you can be charged with a crime, including murder, if you help someone commit the crime.
“Duane Davis was the shot-caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime,” said police homicide Lt. Jason Johansson, “and he orchestrated the plan that was carried out.”
Davis himself has admitted in interviews and in his 2019 tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend,” that he provided the gun used in the drive-by shooting.
Shakur questioned why it took so long to file charges given Davis’ public statements about his involvement.
“This guy has been out there. He’s been doing podcast interviews, YouTube. He’s not writing a book; he wrote a book. They’ve known the whole 27 years that he was in the car,” Shakur said. “I know that on any case you receive a lot of clues. Well, why didn’t they follow up on that then?”
Davis, now 60, was arrested early Friday while walking near his home on the outskirts of Las Vegas, hours before prosecutors announced in court that a Nevada grand jury had indicted the self-described “gangster” on one count of murder with a deadly weapon. He is due in court next week.
On the night of Sept. 7, 1996, Shakur was in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight. They were waiting at a red light near the Las Vegas Strip when a white Cadillac pulled up beside them, and gunfire erupted.
Shakur was shot multiple times and died a week later at the age of 25.
In his memoir, Davis said he was in the front passenger seat of the Cadillac and had slipped a gun into the back seat, from where he said the shots were fired.
He implicated his nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, saying he was one of two people in the backseat. Anderson, a known rival of Shakur, had been involved in a casino brawl with the rapper shortly before the shooting. Anderson died two years later. He denied any involvement in Shakur’s death.
“There’s still questions that still need to be answered — if there was co-conspirators, the actual motive, and I assume these things will come out over time,” Mopreme Shakur said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.