Special Report on the Murder of Tupac Shakur

Special Report on the Murder of Tupac Shakur
03.18.1997

Six months after the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas — a case in which no arrests have yet been made — MTV News has obtained a 29-page document prepared by police in Compton, California, which reveals that only a few days after Shakur’s murder last September 7th, Compton police had already learned the name of the man some local gang members believed to be responsible for the crime.

This document, it must be emphasized, is based largely on the words of Compton police informants. It does not legally prove who killed Tupac, nor does it legally prove that his death was a gang murder. Proof is the job of the courts. However, the Compton police document does contain a startling account of the events that led up to Shakur’s murder and a shot-by-shot account of the five day blood bath his killing seems to have set off in Compton. A gang-war that apparently left three men dead and ten wounded. It also deals with a host of questions as to the identity of the man who allegedly shot Tupac Shakur.

This 29-page statement of probable cause offers some intriguing answers. It was written up by Compton police last September and was attached to a motion filed in February by Suge Knight’s defense team as part of their attempt to overturn Knight’s probation violation. Based largely on information provided to the Compton police by their gang-informants, the statement (or affidavit) gives an unverified but considerably detailed account of gang-related activity in Compton before and after the shooting of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas on the night of Saturday, September 7th.

According to the statement of probable cause, five days after Shakur was shot, an informant with special knowledge of the activities of the Bloods — a man identified in the statement as CRI or “confidential reliable informant” #3 — provided police with a sequence of events which suggested that the shooting in Vegas might have been the culmination of a beef that began at the Lakewood Mall in Compton. The informant told Compton police that a man named Travon Lane — a Death Row affiliate also known as “Tray” — was at the mall’s Foot Locker in July or August of last year when he was confronted by several members of the Southside Crips. There was a scuffle during which Lane’s Death Row medallion was taken from him.

Fast forward to September 7th in Las Vegas — the night of the Tyson/Seldon fight at the MGM Grand. According to the affidavit, CRI #3 told the Compton cops that moments after the bout, Travon Lane was walking through the hotel as part of Death Row’s entourage when he spotted a man later identified as Orlando Anderson. The same man, Lane thought who’d taken his medallion at the Lakewood mall two months ago. Lane pointed the man out to Shakur. Shakur confronted Anderson with the question “You from the South?” — an apparent reference to the Southside Crips. A melee ensued — captured on tape by MGM Grand surveillance cameras.

Little more than an hour later, as a line of Death Row cars snaked its way to a party at Knight’s Club 662, a white Cadillac with California license plates — according to one report — pulled up to the right of Shakur and Knight’s vehicle. According to the affidavit, a passenger opened fire with a Glock .40 caliber handgun, grazing Knight and critically wounding Shakur — as members of the Death Row entourage watched from the cars behind Knight’s.

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