What’s behind the Tupac Shakur murder trial? | Music news

The investigation into the unsolved murder of Tupac Shakur, widely known as 2Pac, has been revived after authorities in the US state of Nevada this week served a search warrant in connection with the rap star’s death on September 7, 1996.

Here’s what to know about the rapper’s murder and the investigation into the most infamous fatal shooting in hip-hop history:

What is new in this investigation?

A search warrant was executed Monday in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas homicide detectives and prosecutors have determined they have enough information to continue a court-authorized search, an official with the investigation told US-based ABC News.

The search was conducted with Las Vegas Metro PD SWAT at 10pm local time (05:00 GMT).

ABC News described the scene as loud, with police using bullhorns and bright lights.

The news network also said investigators searched computers, laptops and articles about Shakur and his death.

The evidence gathered will now be presented to a Las Vegas grand jury.

A police spokeswoman said she could not provide further details on the latest progress in the case, including whether a suspect had been identified, citing the ongoing investigation.

What happened the night Shakur was killed?

September 7, 1996: The 25-year-old rapper, who was traveling in a black BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight in a convoy of about 10 cars, headed to the nightclub after watching Mike Tyson knock out Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand. Police said there was no one else in the car with them.

WBA champion Bruce Seldon (L) knocks out WBC champion Mike Tyson (R) in the first round on September 7, 1996 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. [Reuters]

While stopped at a red light at an intersection near the Las Vegas Strip, a white Cadillac pulled up with a BMW with four people inside, and one of them opened fire, with bullets piercing the passenger side of Knight’s car, police said. Shakur, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was shot four times, at least twice in the chest.

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The knight was grazed by a bullet fragment or fragments from the car.

September 13, 1996: Shakur was pronounced dead at 04:03 pm local time (23:03 GMT) at University Medical Center in LA. The hospital says he died of respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary failure.

On September 13, after Tupac Shakur’s death was announced, Marion Knight arrived at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. [Reuters]

What happened in the preliminary investigation?

1996: Las Vegas police said the initial investigation was quickly halted after witnesses refused to cooperate.

After no arrests, speculations and theories abound.

2002: An LA Times investigation found that the Compton gang, known as the Southside Crips, carried out the shooting in retaliation for Shakur’s beating of one of its members hours earlier.

October 2018: Knight was sentenced to 28 years in prison for killing music executive Terry Carter.

Before the trial, Knight said he was the real target of the drive-by that killed Shakur, and that his ex-wife and former Death Row Records head of security were behind the shooting.

2018-2019: After the Netflix documentary “Unsolved: The Tupac and Biggie Murders” aired in 2018, a Las Vegas Police Department official said detectives became involved again in the case, ABC News reported.

July 17, 2023: A search warrant has been issued in connection with the case.

How was his rivalry with the famous BIG connected?

Six months after Shakur’s murder, he was feuding with his rap rival Notorious B.I.G., who was shot and killed on March 9, 1997.

That shooting is widely believed to be connected to Shakur’s murder, and remains unsolved.

The two rappers were at the center of the infamous East Coast-West Coast rivalry that primarily defined the hip-hop scene in the mid-1990s.

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The feud erupted after Shakur was fatally wounded in another shooting during a robbery in the lobby of a midtown Manhattan hotel.

Tupac had openly accused BIG and Sean “Diddy” Combs of having prior knowledge of the shooting, which both vehemently denied.

The diss tracks were seemingly delivered to drive home their ferocious points. Shakur released the aggressive hit single ‘Em Up’, which took aim at BIG, Who Shot Ya? replied, which was received as a sarcasm. However, BIG said the song was not directed at Shakur.

Why are people still interested in the case?

Shakur is one of the most popular figures in hip-hop. The unsolved nature of his death fueled many conspiracy theories among fans and added layers of intrigue to any developments in the case.

Despite a professional music career that lasted only five years, he sold over 75 million records worldwide, including the diamond-certified album All Eyes on Me, California Love (Remix), I Ain’t Made at Saw and How Do You Want It.

People gather to attend the posthumous unveiling of rapper Shakur’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 7, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. [Mario Anzuoni/Reuters]

Shakur has had five number one albums, including Me Against the World in 1995 and All Eyes on Me in 1996, with three posthumous releases: 1996’s The Dawn of the Illuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 2001’s The End of Time and 2004’s Loyal to the Game.

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