Rap musician Tupac Shakur is gunned down in Las Vegas.

Tupac Shakur

Tupac and Suge Knight on the night of the murder

CASE DETAILS

Tupac Shakur was a prolific musician and actor.  During his short career, he released four platinum albums and starred in six feature films.

Wendy Day, founder of Rap Coalition, knew Tupac well:

“He was a great person. He was extremely charismatic. He was very intelligent, very business-smart, very funny, very warm, intelligent, caring. That was the Tupac that I knew.”

Fans gathered outside the hospital

But despite his success, Tupac couldn’t resist the lure of the streets.  He was arrested eight times between 1991 and 1995 and served an eight month prison term for rape.

In 1994, Tupac was shot five times and left for dead in the lobby of a New York recording studio.  Amazingly, he survived.  Given the reality of his criminal lifestyle, Tupac told friends that he never expected to reach his twenty-fifth birthday.  His prediction was off by three months.

On the night of September 7, 1996, thousands of boxing fans flocked to the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas for a match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon. Tupac Shakur was one of many celebrities in attendance that night.  With him was Marion “Suge” Knight, the CEO of Tupac’s recording studio.  The two high profile men were followed by an entourage of unarmed bodyguards and musicians. Tupac and Suge were also unarmed.

Cathy Scott, a reporter for the Las Vegas Sun who wrote a book about the murder, said it was strange for Tupac and his entourage to go out unarmed:

“Tupac… was known to pack a weapon– as was Suge and many people in the entourage.  They weren’t armed that night, and… everybody said they felt safe.  So it was a very festive mood. They were… playing the music loud, so they were in a partying mood. They were flirting with women.”

Fula was the only witness willing to talk

After the match, Tupac rode in Suge’s black BMW, headed to a Las Vegas club owned by Suge.  Shortly after 11 PM, Tupac and Suge pulled up to an intersection and spoke with two unidentified women.

Cathy Scott described the events that followed:

“The two were looking at the girls and talking to them. That’s what the witnesses have told the police. And that’s when a white Cadillac drove up on the passenger side next to Tupac and opened fire. Tupac tried to climb into the backseat and didn’t make it.”

Once the attackers fled, Suge drove off in the opposite direction.  He stopped for help at a nearby casino.  Tupac had suffered gunshot wounds in the chest, hip, and hand.  Suge had escaped with only a bullet graze across his temple.

There were thousands of witnesses to the shooting but police say only one person came forward, Yafeu Fula, one of Tupac’s backup singers.   He was riding in the car directly behind Suge and Tupac and told police he could identify the gunman.  However, after a brief interview police sent Yafeu home.

Frame from surveillance camera

As Tupac clung to life, fans gathered outside the Las Vegas hospital where he was being treated.  On September 13th, just six days after the shooting, Tupac Shakur died from his gunshot wounds.

Initial reports said that Tupac was a victim of gang violence.  Just three hours before the shooting, a hotel security camera at the MGM Grand recorded Tupac, Suge, and members of their entourage beating up an alleged member of the Los Angeles street gang, the South Side Crips.  It has been rumored that Suge Knight was linked to a rival gang.  Did this confrontation lead to Tupac’s murder?

The music video for Tupac’s “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” offered a clue to a second theory.  In the months before his death, Tupac was at the center of a heated rivalry between the East coast rapper Biggie Smalls and Sean “Puffy” Combs, the CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment. In the music video, Tupac blames his East coast rivals for the 1994 attack that nearly killed him.

Fula, the only witness, was gunned down

According to Wendy Day, the rivalry began after Tupac was shot five times in front of a New York recording studio:

“That rivalry between them existed because when Tupac was shot at Quad Studios, he felt, not that Biggie and Puffy set him up, but that they knew that it was coming and didn’t warn him.”

To this day, no one has been arrested for that shooting.

Some suspect the murder was an inside job set up by someone close to Tupac.  Several unanswered questions support this theory.   How did the gunman know where Tupac would be?  Why did Tupac seem to be the only target?  Why weren’t his bodyguards armed at the time of the shooting? And why was no one willing to cooperate with police?  Not even Tupac’s bodyguards?

Cathy Scott recalls speaking to Las Vegas homicide detectives shortly after the murder:

“What I was told by one homicide detective was that everybody went deaf, dumb, and blind. They were surprised, because they said these are professional bodyguards. They’re paid to guard, you know, Tupac.  Yet they didn’t see anything.”

Yafeu Fula was the only witness who came forward, but he never had the opportunity to view a photo lineup of possible suspects.  Two months after returning to his home in New Jersey, Yafeu was gunned down in the stairwell of a housing project.  Was this a random act of violence or a premeditated murder to keep him from talking to the authorities?

There are many theories in this unsolved murder case.  Now that the only eye-witness is dead, some believe Tupac’s killer may never be found.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season nine with Robert Stack and in season one with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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24 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Y DON’T ya look into suge,its round the time that he was infiltrating easy e, cube, and dr. Dre…..
    They knew what he is about, and it s all bout his rise to fame on someone else’s dime and talent, he deliberately set things up from the gate. Knew what kind of behavior would sell in rap music,esspecially east and west rivalry.
    By offering pac a contract deal while still sitting in the penitentiary,kinda makes u feel obligated cuz of the love he was givin him,while locked up…

    Reply

  2. Yaki.Kadafi

    Whoever put that photo up there is slacking because that AINT FULA. Fula was known as Yaki Kadafi. You can see images of him but he was tragically murdered just 2 months after Tupac was. I am not sure whose photo that is but it aint Yak and it ain’ t any of the Outlawz. RIP

    Reply

  3. Chanita jackson

    He Also had cryptic Messages on his body and he wore A gold ring and A gold watch and also a gold chain around His Neck I don’t Know Him Very Well! RIP 2Pac And fula!

    Reply

    • Outlaw.Rider

      Yo man also RIP to Hussein Fatal, he got killed in July 2015 in Georgia by a drunk driver. Unfortunately the drunk driver was his girlfriend and he died and she lived. They charged her with dui and vehicular homicide but they can give her 100 years of hard labor it will never do justice. He had 2 kids two. RIP FATAL!!!!!!!!!! Its not enough to say don’t drink and drive. dont even drink to begin with.

      Reply

  4. Blue bird

    I Wonder If This Was Gang Related Or Was This A Conspiracy?

    Reply

    • Ghost.of.Pac.Yak.&.Fatal

      Yo it was both dawg. The conspiracy was that Puff offered Keefe D, a high ranking south side crip gangster, $1 million to take out Suge and Tupac Keefe D had known Puffy for a while and even lent him his classic car for Usher’s first video. It’s all in the murder rap by detective keating. Puff should have changed his name to Puss Daddy , because he was very scared of Suge physically and scared of Tupac lyrically. Pac made all them bad boy artists look lame and weak, and he even called them out on many of his tracks. Check out the video of Hit Em Up. So in response to your answer I say that it was both gang related and a conspiracy, a murder conspiracy. But Diddy didn’t know that by putting out a hit on Pac that he was also sentencing Biggie to death, because Suge put out a hit on Big from inside the prison. This reminds me of some sort of a shakespeare story. I just wish it was a story and that Pac had been around all these past 20+ years Instead we are left with punk daddy and all these weak wanksters who cant ever wrap a box, much less a song RIP Outlawz4Life!!! yo even most of the big names these days suck. (ie-J-Z) and MnM has sucked ever since the homie Proof got merced, another tragic loss in the history of rap.

      Reply

  5. amy

    Wow this is deep he was a talented guy hate to see anything luke this happen I’ve always wondered who was suspected in his death r.i.p sad very sad

    Reply

  6. Nostradamus

    Well as far as 2pac being shot and dead if you look into the details you would know that is all fake.Because first of all if you unstable the word Makaveli which he called himself means imalive.The white catalack that soposolly it pulled over next to the car that he was in and shot him if you listen to his songs he spoke a lot about the white catalack.2Pac had tattoos and ering in his nose but the person that was shot didn’t have those so where is 2pac and doing of the creamation without asking at least his mom nobody can do that because if so Afeny Shokur would sew the xxxx out of the state of California

    Reply

  7. ntensegirl

    1. 2Pac now calls himself Makaveli… Machiavelli was an Italian war strategist who advocated faking one’s death to fool their enemies… 2Pac was a fan of his and had read his books several times. Perhaps 2Pac is taking his advice… (But that is not all Machiavelli did… Nicolo Machiavelli was a political, military theorist, historian, playwright, diplomat, and military planner. He is well known today. Some of his works are “The Prince” (1513), and The Art of War (1521). NOTE: Bone Thugs ‘N’ Harmony’s new double album which features 2Pac rather Makaveli is called just that. “The Art Of War”. Coincedence Or Not???)

    2. 2Pac was cremated the day after he died… Since when does some one get cremated the day after a murder? There was no autopsy. Plus, no one can ask to dig up his grave like they wanted to do with Elvis and like they did with Abraham Lincoln. (In the new book entitled “Death Of Tupac Shakur” there is a picture of 2Pac receiving an autopsy. This may prove this reason to be false, or it’s a fake (edited) picture. To my knowledge, 2Pac did not reveive an autopsy though. I don’t know about this picture…)

    3. 2Pac has completed 2 movies, 3 LP’s, and keeps on appearing on new artist’s albums… (Many of the unheard songs 2Pac has completed are unreleased and not on any albums) Why would he do so much at one time??? With so many people upset about 2Pac’s death, literally anything connected with him is bound to net a whole lot of cash… (Yet, 2Pac had big plans for ‘Makaveli Records’. This may be why he’s completed so many songs. Makaveli Records is the the new record company 2Pac planned on doing with “Tha Outlaw Immortalz”. He was leaving Death Row Records. Suge Knight could have killed 2Pac so they could get all the money. 2Pac’s mother is currently suing Death Row Records for this money.)

    4. In a 1994 interview with Tupac, he said before he went to prison that if he was ever sent to prison when he came out he would be worse than before. He was. He also said when he came out it would be like he was reborn. Was he speaking literally? He already died and he was worse when he came out of jail, plus Tupac switched his rapping name from 2Pac to Makaveli, that could be considered a rebirth, all that’s left is a physical rebirth (A sighting) and so far he’s already completed more than half of this prophecy.

    5. The cover of 2Pac’s latest album, Makaveli has 2Pac looking like Jesus Christ… Could he be planning a resurrection? (I am almost sure Death Row Records did this themselves for the publicity. It just adds to the whole 2Pac alive stuff which has been getting the album more sales.)

    6. Las Vegas is a payoff city, meaning all sorts of folks have been known to be on the take. That means doctors, press, lawyers, etc. (This works both ways… The payoff city Las Vegas could be a factor in either 2Pac faking his death OR Suge Knight killing him.)

    7. The producer on the new Makaveli album is simply “SIMON.” This was the apostle who helped Jesus carry the cross and one of the first to witness his resurrection. Could Suge be SIMON?

    8. There are many numerological coincidences. Tupac was gunned down exactly seven months after All Eyez On Me was released. The number seven keeps coming up too. He was shot on September 7th and survived on 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and died the 13th. This could explain the title of his new album…. “The Don Killuminati: The 7 day theory.” 2pac was 25. His age adds up to 7 (2 + 5). Even his time of death, 4:03, adds up to 7 (4 + 0 + 3). Also, on track five on the Makaveli album the voice at the begining says “And if the Lord returns in the coming seven days, then we’ll see ya next time.” He even talks about the number 7 on his album! There are more ‘coincidences’ too.. The newest is on his brand new double album entitled “R U Still Down?”. This album was released on November 25th. 2 + 5 = 7. The 7 day theory continues! What’s with this?

    9. Inside the cover of 2Pac’s newest album, it reads “Exit: 2pac, Enter: Makaveli” as if 2pac has died and Makaveli born. There is also that statement by 2Pac saying when he came out it would be like he was reborn. (Refer to #4)

    10. 2Pac’s video ‘I Ain’t Mad At Ya’ foretold his death …. 2Pac dies in that video. Then a new video came out under the name “Makaveli”. Its just like 2Pac died in “I Ain’t Mad At Cha”, and Makaveli was born in “Toss It Up”. Exit 2Pac Enter: Makaveli. It all makes sense!

    11. In the video “Toss It Up”, 2Pac is supposedly wearing some Penny Hardaway sneakers which were not available at the time of his death!!!! Also, some say in the video “Live & Die In LA” when 2Pac jumps in the car you see that he is wearing some Michael Jordan sneakers which were not available at the time of his death! (If 2pac is dead, then his double is doing his new videos… So, that explains tha shoes!)

    12. In Tupac’s song “Life of an Outlaw” on the album The 7 Day Theory, he says “All for the street fame on how to be managed, 6 months in advance to what we plotted, approved to go on swole and now I got it”-Life Of An Outlaw. This implies that Tupac planned his “death” in advance and now he is enjoying the success of his plan.

    13. 2Pac always wore a bulletproof vest but for some strange reason he didn’t wear one this time.. why not? (I’ve heard Suge Knight was caught on surveilance cameras at the fight telling 2Pac to take off the vest ’cause it was hot in there. If this is true, why would Suge Knight not want 2Pac wearing his vest???)

    14. The memorial services that were open to the public were canceled in both Los Angeles and Atlanta… (This could be in the request of family or friends. It’s quite possible.)

    15. 2Pac’s vehicle got shot 12 times and Suge didn’t get hit once.. He was ‘grazed’ by a bullet.. Why did 2Pac get shot all those times and Suge not get hit?

    16. The white Cadillac containing the assailants was never found… How could this be when Vegas is in the middle of a desert?

    17. Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert. How come there was no helicopter chase? If some one were to rob a casino, the LVPD would’ve chased you down with some helicopters.. . How come this didn’t happen with 2Pac shooting?

    18. A shooting involving Snoop Doggy Dogg occurred close to the release of his album Doggystyle which made Snoop appear more “real” and showed that he really was a gangsta. The shooting gave him respect because everyone that bought his album believed what he was talking about. Within one week of its release, Doggystyle went platinum. Snoop is signed to the same label as Tupac which is Death Row Records.

    19. Suge said he drove 2Pac to the hospital and they had a coherent conversation? How bad was 2Pac hit? In addition to all this .. there are conflicting stories claiming that Quincy Jone’s daughter was in the back of the car.. and then she wasn’t.. what’s the deal for real?

    20. Have you seen the video of the song “Smile” by Scarface, and Makaveli?? I have heard it is not 2Pac in that video. It is the look-alike from Ohio. (That’s why ‘2Pac’ never looks at the camera) The video starts out showing a car just like the one 2Pac got shot in, and the car of course has bullet holes in it! You then hear garbled words which I am currently decoding. Then, they show 2Pac (Makaveli) up posing as Jesus Christ again! That’s Twice! Once on the album & now in this video!?

    Reply

    • Hussein.>Fatal

      Decode this knucklehead Tupac did that stuff because he knew he was about to get killed. He had already been shot five times once and figured he would not live to see 25. Unfortunately he did not fake his own death. He really died by the hands of Orlando Anderson, who was the nephew of a high ranking south side crip Keefe D. I wish Tupac would have lived or listened to his premonitions and either wore the bullet proof vest or had skipped the trip entilrely and instead went to Atlanta, like he was supposedly considering to do. There has never been another artist like Tupac, modern rappers are meh, miserable.

      Reply

    • 71deathRow96

      look you forgot one thing that really shocked me when it hit. when 2pac was shot in vegas he survived for 7 days which is kind of ironic since he made an album called the “7 day theory” which through his tracks explains all supernatural and death defying secrets in them then the CD also has MAKAVELI which you’ve already explained in your comment by how it was originally based on a real person by the same name “Machiavelli” who also faked his death at 25 to fool his enemies there is more to explain but this is all ill type now just a brief summary to add on his mysterious unknown despise

      Reply

  8. Ganxsta Hank

    Police KNOW that off duty police officers were involved in this killing. They were involved in Biggie’s death as well.

    Reply

  9. Biggie

    I did it

    Reply

    • killer kidd

      mann i dont believe that because how did they do it if they didnt even kno who that was who set pac up in the first shootin

      Reply

  10. jewels

    If keefe d is alive and was present why tf doesnt he tell us who pulled the trigga on tupac?!!!!!

    Reply

  11. John doe

    It was the illuminatti they took his life just like ever other famous person

    Reply

  12. jose

    Puff did it why you think he hit arrested on 9/14/14. He plan tupacs death. And also plan biggies death too. He hired a hitman. Puff diddy wanted them dead for biggie and tupac money, why you think puff crated fiction between big and pac. It was an inside job. People are to blind to realize it. Why wont you guys make puff take a polygraph test, 100% he’ll wont pass that test.

    Reply

  13. Jay. DawG

    I was there dat night I was 19 and remember cops surrounding suges car, drove pass and didn’t no at the time it was Pac that had got shot, I miss Pac, RIP

    Reply

  14. Ned

    We will never know who killed tupac whoever did it was a b*#ch who couldn’t confront him like a real man

    Reply

  15. unknown

    Tupac shakur is still alive and living just can’t say where cause the feds is watching

    Reply

  16. jminor

    its obvious that tupacs bodyguards were in on thisif they werent guarded the whole night.

    Reply

  17. Hen Dawg

    Tupac’s murder was a contract killing ordered by Sean (P Diddy)Combs and carried out by members of the southside creeps from Compton the shooter was Orlando (Baby Lane) Anderson passengers also present in the white Cadillac were Orlando’s uncle Duan Keith (keefe D) Davis
    Along with C and Andre, they were all members of the southside creep gang they have all been murdered, since shakur’s death, only Duan Keith (keefe D) Davis is still living, and he confessed and admitted that he was one of the passengers in the white Cadillac that opened fire on Tupac shakur that night in Las Vegas but stressed that it was Sean (puff daddy) combs and the Feds who ordered the hit on Tupac shakur

    The 1994 shooting and attempted murder of Tupac Shakur in New York was ordered by Jimmy Henchman and the actual shooting and robbery was carried out by dexter Isaacs and Walter (king tut) Johnson
    So there you have it mysteries solved

    People speculated on the Las Vegas shooting of Rapper Tupac Shakur
    Alleging that the Hughes brothers (Allen and Albert) were responsible
    Others claim that Dr Dre was behind the murder of Tupac Shakur,
    Than you’ve got people alleging (LL Cool Jay) and (Quincy Jones) may have been responsible others that Rappin 4 Tay a Bay Area rapper was behind tupac’s death but it’s all just gossip and allegations
    Orlando (Baby Lane) Anderson the guy that Tupac was fighting at the Mall was the actual shooter so there you have it

    Reply