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A Life in Ten Pictures: Who killed Tupac Shakur?

The rapper sadly died in a drive-by shooting at the age of 25

Eve Crosbie

A quarter of a century has passed since the death of Tupac Shakur – who was himself a quarter of a century old at the time. But how did the famed rapper die and who killed him?

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As the BBC airs a new documentary all about his life titled Tupac Shakur: A Life in Ten Pictures, find out all you need to know about the events surrounding his death here... 

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Tupac was fatally shot in 1996

On 7 September 1996, Tupac - real name Lesane Parish Crooks - attended a Mike Tyson boxing match at MGM Grand in Las Vegas along with his business partner Tracy Danielle Robinson, manager Suge Knight and girlfriend Kidada Jones, the daughter of music mogul Quincy Jones.

After the fight ended, a brawl broke out in the hotel lobby between a member of Tupac's entourage and Orlando Anderson, also known by the alias of Baby Lane, a member of the Southside Compton Crips. CCTV footage shows Tupac involved in the scrap, but it's believed that he was not the initiator.

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Afterwards, Tupac stopped by his hotel room before making his way to a nearby nightclub, Club 662, in a black sedan with Suge, while his bodyguard and girlfriend took another car. At 11:15 p.m., as the car stalled at a stoplight, an unidentified white Cadillac pulled up to the right of the car and opened fire. Tupac was hit four times and rushed to University Medical Center. He died six days later from his injuries. Suge suffered minor injuries and made a full recovery.

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No one has ever been charged with Tupac's murder

No one was ever prosecuted for Tupac's murder, let alone arrested, meaning that officially the rapper's death remains unsolved. However, in 2002, the Los Angeles Times published a two-part investigation by reporter Chuck Philips that looked into the events leading up to the crime. 

The article alleged that Baby Lane, who had only been interviewed once by the Las Vegas police, was responsible for the killing but could not substantiate these claims since he had died in 1998 in an unrelated gang shooting.

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It's been 25 years since the rapper's death 

In 2018, the claims were corroborated by a former gang member who spoke out about witnessing the drive-by shooting after being granted immunity from prosecution. Rapper Keefe D, who has terminal cancer, revealed that he was a passenger in the car on the night of the incident.

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While he refused to name the other suspects in the car, he confirmed that the fatal shot was fired by his nephew, Baby Lane and that it was out of retaliation for getting jumped at the MGM Grand earlier in the evening. He later spoke of the killing in the Netflix series Unsolved: the Tupac and Biggie Murders, but this time refused to name the shooter due to "street code".

"It just came from the backseat bro," he said, after admitting that if Tupac had not been standing up in his BMW greeting fans, he might still be alive today. "If he wouldn't even been out the window, we would have never seen him," he said.

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