Tupac Shakur’s still-unsolved murder mystery was revived—nearly 30 years later after his murder at the peak of his career in 1996—as police agents in Las Vegas, Nevada executed a new search warrant Monday.
A gunman in a white Cadillac rolled up and shot Shakur four times while he sat in a black BMW with Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight at a stoplight in Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996. He died from his wounds six days later in the hospital on Sept. 13, 1996. The prime suspect, outlined in documentaries, was long-believed to be Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, who died in 1998, and the whole thing was believed to have allegedly escalated over a Death Row Records medallion, and a scuffle at the MGM Grand. Anderson was never convicted, however, and evidence wasn’t sufficient to close the case.
Nevada does not impose a time limit for prosecuting homicide cases, and detectives have new evidence that might enable them to finally crack the case, perhaps explaining who was the driver and/or other suspects involved.
On July 17, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) executed a search warrant and descended upon a home in Henderson. Video footage obtained by ABC News showed the moment police demanded that they come out with their hands up.
The LVMPD merely confirmed a warrant was executed, giving no further details. “LVMPD can confirm a search warrant was served in Henderson, Nevada on July 17, 2023, as part of the ongoing Tupac Shakur homicide investigation. We will have no further comment at this time,” Las Vegas Police said in a statement.
The search was conducted at about 10 p.m. local time, and the police were joined by Las Vegas Metro PD SWAT at the site. ABC News reports that the scene was described as loud, and police used bullhorns and lights.
No charges have been filed yet, and the investigation will likely drag on for weeks to months. Investigators generally believe that the gunman is likely dead, having been killed in a separate shooting just two years after the Vegas drive-by that took Shakur’s life.
The current investigation could lead to a determination of who was in the car with the gunman when the rounds were fired that killed Tupac. That could lead to someone being charged as an accomplice. But the official cautions that charging decisions have not been made yet.
Tupac Shakur’s Impact on Hip-Hop and Weed
Shakur’s rebellious nature and overall imprint on hip-hop is legendary, especially considering he did it all before his death at the age of 25—with five number one albums topping the Billboard 200, three more Top 5 albums, a diamond-certified album, and songs topping the charts. He was also nominated for six Grammy Awards and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Shakur was also known as 2Pac and Makavelli and blossomed as an actor (Nothing But Trouble, Poetic Justice, Above the Rim, Juice.)
Chronic of course went hand-in-hand with the gangsta rap of the era, and a blunt was Shakur’s form of choice. In a video tutorial, Shakur demonstrated how to roll a blunt and absolutely lights up as he talks about his favorite herb. “We gotta keep it all natural, right?” Shakur said, making a canoe shape with a blunt roll. “Once you got it all broken down like that, get it all, right. Use your fingers like that. You can’t just fold. That’s why we got sloppy blunts. You gotta roll it, like you’re rolling a joint. Close it off at the [ends]”
In the early ‘90s, Snoop Dogg was of course seasoned with joints wrapped in papers and other forms of smoking. But he told Howard Stern that it was Shakur who introduced him to his first blunt in the early ‘90s. Last December, Snoop Dogg announced that Death Row Records, Shakur’s record label, would be entering the cannabis game with Death Row Cannabis.