How a fight between rival Compton gangs turns into a plot of retaliation and murder.

Who Killed Tupac Shakur?
How a fight between rival Compton gangs turns into a plot of retaliation and murder.
By CHUCK PHILIPS
TIMES STAFF WRITER

September 6 2002

First of two parts Part Two | Who Do You Think Killed Tupac

LAS VEGAS –The city’s neon lights vibrated in the polished hood of the black BMW as it cruised up Las Vegas Boulevard.

The man in the passenger seat was instantly recognizable. Fans lined the streets, waving, snapping photos, begging Tupac Shakur for his autograph. Cops were everywhere, smiling.

The BMW 750 sedan, with rap magnate Marion “Suge” Knight at the wheel, was leading a procession of luxury vehicles past the MGM Grand Hotel and Caesars Palace, on their way to a hot new nightclub. It was after 11 on a Saturday night—Sept. 7, 1996. The caravan paused at a crowded intersection a block from the Strip.

Shakur flirted with a carful of women—unaware that a white Cadillac had quietly pulled up beside him. A hand emerged from the Cadillac. In it was a semiautomatic pistol, aimed straight at Shakur.

Many of the rapper’s lyrics seemed to foretell this moment.

“The fast life ain’t everything they told ya,” he sang in an early hit, “Soulja’s Story.”

“Never get much older, following the tracks of a soulja.”

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