Who Is Keefe D? The Man At The Center Of The Tupac Murder Investigation

BYTamara McCullough2.4K Views
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Tupac Shakur Live In Concert
CHICAGO - MARCH 1994: Rapper Tupac Shakur poses for photos backstage after his performance at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois in March 1994. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
Keefe D has long been associated with Tupac's murder. Now, there is news of an update in the case—and Keefe's name is back in headlin

When reports surfaced that Keefe D was being looked at as the main suspect in Tupac's unsolved murder, it became huge news. Since 1996, there has been plenty of speculation over who took the rap superstar's life, but no arrests. After authorities announced Keefe D was facing imminent charges, there was buzz the case would finally come to an end.

Sixty-year-old Keefe D has deep ties to the late rap legend Eazy-E and the South Side Compton Crips. Everybody wanted to know more about the man. Who is he? What is his connection to Tupac? Here's a deeper look into Keefe D and his relation to the Tupac murder investigation.

Early Life Of Keefe D & How He Met Diddy

Born Duane Davis in Compton, California, on June 14, 1963, Keefe D became a member of the notorious South Side Compton Crips. Growing up, he was a close friend of Eazy-E, founder of N.W.A. and Ruthless Records. He also played Pop Warner football with Suge Knight. He was around during pivotal moments of the gangsta rap era through his connections.

Keefe D said he first met Diddy in 1991 when Puff was working on an Usher video. Keefe let them use some of his cars for the shoot, with Usher damaging one when dancing on it. Diddy covered the cost, which seemed like a friendly gesture at the time. However, Keefe would see that things aren't always what they seem.

The Murder Of Tupac

Tupac Shakur and Marion Suge Knight (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

On September 7, 1997, Tupac was in Las Vegas with Suge Knight and some of his Death Row associates. One of the guys pointed out Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, a Southside Compton Crip, and accused Anderson of trying to rob him. Orlando just happened to be the nephew of Keefe D. As the story goes, Tupac ran up on Orlando, and a whole melee ensued.

Hours later, Suge drove to another spot with Tupac as his passenger. Before they could arrive, a car pulled up next to them and opened fire. Tupac was hit four times and ended up dying six days later on September 13. The hip-hop world was left shocked and in mourning. Everybody wondered who could have killed the rap legend.

The Keefe D Connection

Plenty of conspiracies spun the block as the streets began talking and the investigation heated up. Orlando and Keefe D's names were soon brought into the mix, with many pointing fingers at Orlando as the shooter. He continuously denied his involvement. Even after Orlando died in a gang-related shootout in 1998, numerous documentaries, witnesses, and police investigations have named Orlando as the main suspect. Since Orlando was gone, the focus often turned to Keefe. Multiple times, he put himself in that position.

The Keefe D Admission

In a 2018 interview, Keefe admitted he was in the backseat of the car when Tupac was shot. He boasted he was the one who handed the gun to the shooter. While he wouldn't name the shooter, he acknowledged he was "the only one alive" who knew what happened that night. Keefe claimed he was speaking out because he had cancer and wanted the truth to be told.

Eventually, according to The Daily Mail, Keefe D named Orlando as the shooter "during a taped conversation under immunity." He said he first tried to give the gun to another guy in the car, Dre Smith. After Dre refused, Keefe gave it to Orlando, who "popped the dudes." Further, around this time, there were reports that an arrest was "imminent," but that didn't happen. The authorities said they were still investigating Tupac's death, which remained an open case. The whodunit continued.

New Keefe D Investigation

In 2023, everything changed. Reggie Wright Jr., the former head of security at Death Row Records, predicted there would be some movement in the case. He told Bomb1st, “Let’s put it this way, I bet Keefe D [has] been having the runs for the last two weeks." He added, “Because yeah, they are knocking on doors and there’s some activity.” Keefe said it wasn't true and claimed, "This dude obsessed with me ... He need to leave me the f*ck alone."

Reggie ended up being right. On July 17, 2023, the police executed a search on a Henderson, Nevada property connected to Keefe. They looked for any evidence connected to Tupac's murder. According to police, they found several bullets that would undergo forensic testing to match those found in Tupac's body and on the scene. Police also gathered photos, computers, and more.

The home turned out to be that of Keefe D's ex-wife. He admitted that murder-related evidence was located at the residence. While authorities collected various items, they said they would present the evidence to a grand jury. They warned it could take months before the jury came back with a decision.

Diddy-Keefe D Connection

Shortly afterward, Keefe explained that his connection to Diddy landed him in the investigation's crosshairs. Keefe said he regretted ever meeting Diddy. “If I wouldn’t have ever met him, I wouldn’t have ever been involved in this bullsh*t. I would’ve never met the brother." He also accused Diddy of playing him and Suge. He said, "Because he pitted us against each other, which was kinda smart. We’re Crips and Suge was Bloods.”

Pressing Forward

The bullets police collected from Keefe D's residence didn't match the ones found at Tupac's murder scene. However, that didn't mean he was off the hook. Authorities said some evidence showed "individuals who might have been connected to people directly or indirectly involved in the drive-by shooting.” 

Sources told The Daily Mail that prosecutors expected "this matter to become a criminal case imminently." Detectives said, "Keefe has gloated so much about this that he has effectively talked himself into huge legal trouble.” Some of the biggest evidence against him was truly his own words.

Many are hopeful that Keefe D will go to trial to put to rest one of the most intriguing unsolved mysteries in modern history. Reports have surfaced that Suge Knight might testify if he goes to trial. Although there have been so many twists and turns in this 27-year case, there is hope it could end. The grand jury is expected to come back with a decision by the end of September.


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