Rapper Tupac Shakur attends a voter registration event in South Central Los Angeles, Aug. 15, 1996.
Image Credit: AP

A home Las Vegas police searched this week in connection with the 1996 drive-by shooting of Tupac Shakur is tied to a man long known to detectives investigating the case, whose nephew had emerged as a suspect shortly after the rapper’s killing.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed it served a search warrant Monday in the nearby city of Henderson. But the department said it wouldn’t release any other details, including where officers were searching and whether they expect to make an arrest for the first time in the slaying of the rapper nearly 30 years ago.

Residents of the small Henderson neighborhood — nestled in the foothills of the city about 20 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip — identified the property where they said they saw officers detain two people while investigators searched the home Monday night.

“There were cruisers and SWAT vehicles. They had lights shining on the house,” said Don Sansouci, 61, who had just gone to bed with his wife when a swirl of blue and red police lights stirred them awake sometime after 9 p.m.

Public records, including voting records, link the property to the wife of Duane “Keffe D” Davis, the uncle of Orlando Anderson, one of Shakur’s known rivals who authorities have long suspected in the rapper’s death.

Anderson denied any involvement in Shakur’s killing at the time, and died two years later in an unrelated gang shooting.

From the sidewalk Monday night in front of their home, Sansouci said they watched a man and a woman step outside of the house surrounded by police, place their hands behind their heads and slowly walk backwards toward the officers.

Sansouci said they don’t know the people who live in the home. He described the area as “a nice, quiet cul-de-sac neighborhood” but said most residents on the street keep to themselves.

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It’s not immediately known if Davis has a lawyer who can comment on his behalf, and messages left for Davis and his wife, Paula Clemons, weren’t returned. Records show the two were married in Clark County, Nevada, in 2005.

News of the search breathed new life into Shakur’s long-unsolved killing, which has been surrounded by conspiracy theories. There have never been any arrests, yet attention on the case has endured for decades.

Shakur’s death came as his fourth solo album, 'All Eyez on Me', remained on the charts, with some 5 million copies sold. Nominated six times for a Grammy Award, Shakur is largely considered one of the most influential and versatile rappers of all time.

On the night of September 7, 1996, Shakur was riding in a black BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight in a convoy of about 10 cars. They were waiting at a red light a block from the Las Vegas Strip when a white Cadillac pulled up next to them and gunfire erupted. Shakur was shot multiple times.

The shooting unfolded shortly after a casino brawl earlier in the evening between Anderson, Shakur and their associates.

There were many witnesses, but the investigation quickly stalled, in part because those witnesses refused to cooperate, Las Vegas police said in the past.

That silence broke, to a point, in 2018, when Davis, saying he was ready to speak after a cancer diagnosis, admitted to being in the front seat of the Cadillac. In an interview for a BET show, he implicated his nephew in the shooting, saying Anderson was one of two people in the backseat.

Davis said the shots were fired from the back of the car, though he stopped short of naming which of the two pulled the trigger, saying he had to abide by the “code of the streets.”

It’s unclear if Davis has been living in the home police searched this week and whether he was present when officers descended on the property. Las Vegas court records show there has been an active warrant out for his arrest since July 2022, when he failed to appear in court on a drug charge.