Duane “Keffe D” Davis, 60, was indicted on charges of murder and the use of a deadly weapon in the fatal drive-by shooting which has gone unsolved for almost three decades, according to authorities.
A Nevada grand jury indicted Mr Davis in the killing, prosecutors announced in court hours after he was arrested. Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo told the court that a grand jury had been seated in the case for “several months.”
Mr DiGiacomo went on to describe Mr Davis as the “on-ground, on-site commander” who “ordered the death” of Shakur.
Las Vegas police arrested the suspect as he walked near his home in the city on Friday morning.
Mr Davis has always acknowledged being in the car that pulled up next to the rapper when he was gunned down in Las Vegas after a Mike Tyson fight.
The arrest comes just two months after the Nevada home of Mr Davis – a member of the Southside Compton Crips gang known as Keefe D, Keefy D or Keffe D – was raided by Las Vegas police and a string of evidence seized in connection to the cold case.
Keffe D, who is the uncle of the late prime suspect in the case Orlando Anderson, has claimed on multiple occasions that he witnessed the rapper’s murder.
During the late-night raid on 17 July, five computers, tablets and an iPhone were taken from his home – with Las Vegas police confirming it was part of the homicide investigation into Tupac’s killing.
The warrant, which was obtained by CNN, stated that investigators searched for “items that tend to show evidence of motive and/or the identity of the perpetrator such as photographs or undeveloped film, insurance policies and letters, address and telephone records, diaries, and other documents…”
An affidavit filed to obtain the warrant stated that police were looking for “notes, writings, ledgers, and other handwritten or typed documents concerning television shows, documentaries, YouTube episodes, book manuscripts, and movies concerning the murder of Tupac Shakur.”
In addition to the electronics, investigators left the Henderson home with USB and hard drives, photographs, “purported marijuana,” a copy of Vibe magazine featuring Tupac, and a copy of the Compton Street Legends book written by Keffe D with Yusuf Jah.
It is not clear what may have led to the major development in the case almost three decades on from Tupac’s murder.
Tupac was killed in a drive-by shooting while he sat in a car at an intersection near the Las Vegas strip on 7 September 1996.
Earlier that night, Tupac had gone to watch a Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on the strip with Suge Knight, the boss of his record label Death Row Records.
In the lobby of the hotel, Tupac attacked gangland rival Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson in a beating that was captured on surveillance footage.
On leaving the MGM Grand, Tupac and Knight drove along the strip in their BMW and stopped at a red light at an intersection.
A white Cadillac pulled up beside them and opened fire.
Tupac was shot four times with one of the bullets piercing his lung. He died six days later in hospital.
Despite several witnesses on the scene of the shooting, no arrests have ever been made until now.
Anderson has long been the prime suspect – on suspicion of shooting Tupac out of revenge for the attack in the hotel.
However, Anderson denied any involvement in the murder and was also killed two years later in a gang-related shooting in 1998.
Keffe D, a 60-year-old former Southside Compton Crips gang member, has previously claimed to have been present at Tupac’s murder and knows who pulled the trigger.
In both the 2018 Netflix documentary “Unsolved: The Tupac and Biggie Murders” and in his book Compton Street Legend which he published in 2019, Keffe D claimed that his nephew Orlando Anderson fatally shot Tupac – and that he was in the car with him when he opened fire.
“Tupac made an erratic move and began to reach down beneath his seat,” he writes in the book.
“It was the first and only time in my life that I could relate to the police command, ‘Keep your hands where I can see them.’ Instead, Pac pulled out a strap, and that’s when the fireworks started.
“One of my guys from the back seat grabbed the Glock and started bustin’ back.”