The Tragic Death of ...
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 from him. 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.
- Thanx to G. Litt for the info.
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