The Las Vegas police have executed a search warrant in connection with the fatal drive-by shooting of the rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996, the department said Tuesday, reinvigorating the investigation into the unsolved death of a mythic figure in hip-hop.
Shakur, who sold millions of albums and had reached No. 1 on the charts, was shot as he was leaving a Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon prizefight in Las Vegas when a Cadillac pulled up alongside the BMW he was riding in. He died less than a week later at the age of 25.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that it had served the search warrant in Henderson, Nev., a city outside of Las Vegas, on Monday. It declined to comment further.
Shakur’s “All Eyez on Me” was one of the first double albums in hip-hop. He began acting onscreen in the early ’90s, starring as the male lead opposite Janet Jackson in John Singleton’s 1993 romantic drama “Poetic Justice.” When he died, the critic Jon Pareles wrote in The New York Times that he had “described gangsterism as a vicious cycle, a grimly inevitable response to racism, ghetto poverty and police brutality.”
His murder has been the speculation of books, documentaries, television series and films. For some, the failure to charge anyone for Shakur’s killing — as well as for the fatal shooting of the Notorious B.I.G. six months later — became signs of institutional failure, prompting calls for the police to revisit the case.
Shakur, who was one of the most popular rappers in the world when he was killed, saw his legend grow after his death, as dozens of posthumous albums, books, documentaries and films were released. There was even a concert featuring a Tupac Shakur hologram. In 2017 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Part of the investigation over the years has included a brawl involving Shakur and his entourage at the MGM Grand hotel after the boxing match.
But in more than 25 years, no arrests have been made. The police department has cited a lack of cooperation from people close to Shakur as a reason for the stalled investigation.