Tupac witnesses’ stories conflicting

March 03, 1997

Tupac witnesses’ stories conflicting

By Cathy Scott

Metro Police homicide detectives have left messages with two men who claim they can identify the assailants who murdered rap and film star Tupac Shakur near the Las Vegas Strip.

It could lead to a break in the case, said homicide Sgt. Kevin Manning.

At the same time, Manning said the pair have changed their stories told to detectives on Sept. 7.

Shakur, 25, was shot three times that night on East Flamingo Road at Koval Lane. He died six days later at University Medical Center. Because Shakur lapsed into a coma, police were not able to interview him.

Marion “Suge” Knight, chief executive officer of Death Row Records and the driver of a BMW in which Shakur was a passenger, was grazed in the temple. The 31-year-old Knight made a U-turn and drove to the Strip at Harmon Avenue, where he was stopped by bicycle patrol officers.

Malcolm Greenridge, a rap singer in Shakur’s backup group, and Frank Alexander, a former bodyguard for Shakur and a one-time reservist for the Orange County sheriff’s department, told the Los Angeles Times they could identify the shooters.

But they told police otherwise, Manning said.

When asked if he could identify the shooters, Alexander told detectives the night of the shooting, “Absolutely not,” Manning said, describing Alexander’s interview as 13 pages long after it was transcribed. Greenridge’s interview was 11 pages long. Greenridge, he said, answered “Nope” to the same question.

“They never said they could identify a shooter,” Manning said. “Nowhere during the taped interview did they say they could recognize or identify anyone in the vehicle, the shooter or otherwise.”

Manning said it’s curious that the pair complained to a Los Angeles Times reporter that they were harassed by police while also saying they were never contacted by detectives.

“So which is it?” Manning asked.

Alexander, Greenridge and rapper Tufau Fula were in a car behind Tupac when the shooting broke out. Alexander, who was driving, followed Knight’s rented BMW to the Strip and Harmon. When police arrived, officers ordered some members of Shakur’s entourage to drop to the ground until they could assess the situation. In November, Fula was murdered in New Jersey.

“The L.A. Times is not going to help them find the killer,” Manning said.

He said detectives left a message at Alexander’s home Thursday. Greenridge’s number has been disconnected, but detectives left word through a third party to call Metro homicide detectives.

As of today, Manning said, the two have not called detectives.

Homicide Lt. Wayne Petersen said even if the two were to identify a shooter, defense attorneys would ask them, “How does your recollection of what happened get better six months after the event? There are inconsistencies.”

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