Article about the Shooting
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
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.
In the affidavit,
the informant is also said to have told Compton police he heard
Travon Lane at Club 662 declaring that the shooter was the same
man who'd been in the melee at the MGM Grand and that the shooter
was "Keefee D's nephew." According to police, Orlando
Anderson is the nephew of the man known by Compton police to be
Keefee D. Both are reputed to be Southside Crips.
Back in Compton on
September 9th, the day according to the affidavit that another
informant noticed a late-model white Cadillac being driven into
a local auto shop by Orlando Anderson's cousin-- three separate
Blood sects convened at Lueders Park. The topic of discussion,
according to the affidavit? The need to retaliate against the
Southside Crips for the attack on Tupac Shakur. Compton police
were told by their informant that five sites for drive-by shootings
were chosen. Three potential targets were singled out.
At 2:58 that afternoon
at a location on East Alondra, one such man -- whose name was
mentioned to Las Vegas police as someone who might have been riding
in the white Cadillac -- was shot in the back. The war was on.
Two days later at
9:05 on the morning of September 11th, Southside Crip Bobby Finch
was gunned down on South Mayo. The next day, Vegas police told
Compton cops that they'd received calls that Finch had been riding
in the white Cadillac. By early morning on the 14th, five more
people had been shot in what Compton police regarded as related
assaults. Meanwhile, three Bloods were fired on and wounded in
two separate shootings. On September 13th, the day Tupac Shakur
died, two more Bloods were shot and killed by an assailant who
fled on foot.
As the gang war raged,
police in Compton and Las Vegas continued to receive unsubstantiated
tips that "Keefee D's nephew" or " Baby Lane"
-- aliases for Orlando Anderson -- had shot Tupac Shakur. On the
13th, the affidavit says, one reputed member of the Bloods identified
the man who'd shot him in Compton two days earlier as Orlando
Anderson. On the 20th, an eyewitness fingered Anderson as the
triggerman in an April 1996 homicide. Around that same time, the
affidavit states, an informant told one police officer that Anderson
had been spotted with a .40 caliber Glock handgun -- a potentially
significant tip, since it hadn't yet been revealed publicly that
a .40 caliber Glock had been used in the attack on Shakur.
On October 2nd, as
part of a gang sweep, Compton police arrested Anderson in connection
with that April 1996 homicide, but the District Attorney's office
declined to press charges and asked police to gather more evidence.
Compton police told MTV News that Anderson remains the prime suspect
in the April 1996 homicide, and charges are expected to be formally
filed imminently. As for Anderson's attorney, he declined to comment
on this or any other allegations contained in the affidavit. And
says that he has not been informed that his client remains the
prime suspect in that April 1996 homicide. He has previously denied
that Anderson was in any way involved with the killing of Shakur.
While testifying under
oath in Suge Knight's probation hearing, Orlando Anderson invoked
the Fifth Amendment when asked if he was a member of the Crips
and denied that Knight had assaulted him. Vegas police questioned
Anderson briefly in October after which one Vegas cop was quoted
as saying that Anderson was not a suspect in Shakur's murder.
Four months later, Vegas Sgt. Kevin Manning told the Los Angeles
Times that Anderson was indeed a suspect in Shakur's killing,
but that the department lacks hard evidence against him. Vegas
police say that since the night of the shooting they have not
been able to speak to Travon Lane -- who the affidavit asserts
was involved with the scuffle with Anderson at the Lakewood Mall,
who pointed Anderson out to Shakur at the MGM Grand and was heard
at Club 662 hours after the shooting IDing Anderson as the shooter.
Efforts by MTV News to talk with Travon Lane were unsuccessful.