Tupac Shakur – How Did the Iconic Rapper Die?

Tupac Shakur's Death
Investigation into mysteries surrounding the death of Tupac Shakur

An Investigation into Tupac Shakur’s Death

This article discusses the events surrounding Tupac Shakur’s death, including some background that led up to his killing.

About Tupac

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, in 1971. His parents were active members of the Black Panther Party before his birth, and their views on social inequity were instilled in him from a very young age.

He relocated to Los Angeles, California, in 1988. As a teenager, he attended a local art school and took an interest in ballet. He was also known to show his love for literature and particularly favored Shakespeare, making him one of the most well-read hip-hop artists then. 

He began writing and singing rap songs. His lyrics dealt with subjects like racism, police violence, hardships in the ghetto, social conflicts, and the infamous East Coast-West Coast rivalry. Tupac’s rap albums were widely acclaimed. In New York City, he was known by his stage name 2Pac. He went on to sell more than 75 million copies worldwide and became one of the biggest names in rap history. 

The tensions between Tupac and Biggie

As rap music began to spread to every home stereo and car radio in the country, a rivalry began to emerge between East Coast and West Coast rappers. Rappers on both coasts began to promote their coast as the best and, in turn, put down the other coast as inferior. Rap artists began to dis each other in interviews, and public altercations began.

Tension between the two rival gangs escalated with a shooting and robbing incident in 1994. Tupac blamed the East Coast rap gang for the incident, causing significant clashes between the two groups. The rivalry between Tupac and Biggie reached new heights in 1996 with the release of a ‘diss’ track called “Hit ‘Em Up.” The song’s lyrics are directly aimed at Sean Puffy Combs, Wallace, and Mobb Deep.

What began with words eventually led to physical violence and even murder. Most people agree that the intense rivalry led to the death of Tupac Shakur and his rival, Notorious B.I.G., who was shot six months later in a similar drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. The shooting incident was believed to be tied directly to members of the East Coast rappers, and the killing of Notorious B.I.G. was believed to be in retaliation for Tupac’s murder.

What happened on the night of Tupac Shakur’s death?

On the night of September 7, 1996, Tupac Shakur and his friends were driving back from a Mike Tyson boxing match in Las Vegas, Nevada. After stopping at a red light, a white Cadillac, a BMW, pulled up to the right side of their car. Boxed in with other cars at the stoplight, three or four men began firing bullets into the BMW.  13 bullets entered the BMW, and Tupac was shot three times. Bullets struck his chest, right hand, and right hip.

Police arrived on the scene almost immediately and called paramedics to the scene. Tupac and his co-passengers were rushed to a hospital in an ambulance. He spent six days in the hospital, and doctors made numerous attempts to revive the famous rapper. On September 13, 1996, at 25, his mother ordered the doctors to cease attempting to revive him.

Where does Tupac Shakur’s death investigation stand?

Las Vegas police recently executed a search warrant related to the 1996 killing of Tupac Shakur. The warrant was served in Henderson, at a residence linked to Duane “Keffe D” Davis, who identifies himself as a “gangster.” Davis is the uncle of Orlando Anderson, a known rival of Shakur, suspected by authorities in the rapper’s murder. Anderson, who denied involvement, passed away two years later in an unrelated gang incident. The warrant revealed the seizure of computers, a cellphone, documents, a Vibe magazine featuring Shakur, .40-caliber bullets, photographs, and Davis’ 2019 memoir, “Compton Street Legend.” A case is reportedly being presented to a Las Vegas grand jury, although specific details remain undisclosed, including the individuals encountered during the search.

“Labyrinth, written by journalist Randall Sullivan, delves into the unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. and an investigation into corruption within the Los Angeles Police Department. Updated by the author, it’s a powerful account of a grave miscarriage of justice. In 1996, Tupac was killed in Las Vegas, and in 1997, the Notorious B.I.G. was shot in Los Angeles. Both cases remain unsolved. LAPD detective Russell Poole discovered officers involved with Death Row Records, potentially linked to the murders. Labyrinth gained acclaim, led to lawsuits, an FBI probe, and remains the definitive account of these infamous hip hop murders.”

More Celebrity Investigations

Get the scoop on more celebrity drama in our Celebrity Investigations section. You can also read about the deaths of other entertainers, such as Prince.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including eInvestigator.com. Michael created eInvestigator.com more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at Amazon.com.


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