The claim was made by Greg Kading, who was the lead detective of an interagency task force launched in 2006 to investigate Biggie’s 1997 murder and who wrote the 2011 book Murder Rap: The Untold Story of the Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations.
His book theorizes that 2Pac was killed by South Side Compton Crip Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, who was allegedly handed the murder weapon by his uncle and fellow gang member Duane “Keefe D” Davis.
Davis — the only remaining suspect who is still alive — was recently charged with the rapper’s murder, marking the first-ever arrest in the 27-year-old case.
In an interview with Rolling Stone published on Tuesday (October 3), Kading blamed Suge Knight for ‘Pac’s 1996 death going unsolved for almost three decades.
“If there’s anybody in the world to blame for this taking 27 years to solve, it’s Suge Knight,” he said of the Death Row Records co-founder, who was in the car with 2Pac when he was fatally shot. “He knew the moment it happened who did it.
“And all Suge had to do when Las Vegas [PD] asked him to come in and sit down for an interview, all he had to do was say, ‘They pulled up alongside, I looked right across the car, I saw Keefe D in the front seat.’ That’s all he had to say: ‘I saw Keefe D.’ That alone, that witness statement would’ve changed everything.”
He added: “There’s nobody else who could have helped more than him, and he didn’t, because evidently, his reputation was more important than 2Pac’s life.”
Kading’s comments come shortly after Suge Knight broke his silence on Keefe D’s arrest, telling TMZ that he won’t testify against the 60-year-old if called to do so and that he doesn’t believe Orlando Anderson was the one who killed 2Pac.
“I never had nothing bad to say about Orlando because […] he wasn’t the shooter,” he said. “It wasn’t Anderson, so that’s all I got to say about that part.”
Knight’s claim echoes that of a witness who testified in the weeks leading up to Keefe D’s arrest that it was Deandre “Big Dre” Smith who shot 2Pac, not Anderson.
Smith was allegedly sat next to Anderson in the backseat of the car from which the drive-by shooting was carried out, with Keefe D and another man named Terrence Brown sat up front.
“When [Davis] passed the firearm to Orlando, Orlando didn’t have a clear shot,” the witness told a Las Vegas grand jury. “Big Dre is six-six. At this time he’s 370, 400 [pounds]. He’s big.
“And you’re not going to be able to lean over a big guy like that and get — I mean, my time of knowing things, doing — you’re not going to reach over like that because shells would have been popping all in Big Dre’s face and all kind of stuff. He can’t bend down or anything, he’s too big.”
According to Greg Kading, however, the notion that Deandre Smith — not Orlando Anderson — was 2Pac’s killer is “wrong.”
“This witness, who I know very well, […] believed it because Dre was bragging about it,” the former detective explained. “Now, this is his opinion. He was not an eyewitness. He wasn’t there. He has no firsthand knowledge […] He’s wrong. And here’s why he is wrong: Because when Keefe D does his police interviews, that is when he is at the most risk of lying during those interviews, he only harms himself.
“When Keffe D sits down and he’s presented with these proffer sessions [in 2009], he says it was Orlando, and he says it multiple times: ‘I gave the gun to Orlando.’ Now, he could have easily lied and said it was Dre and avoided throwing his own nephew under the bus. Throwing his own nephew under the bus cost him a lot within the family.”
He continued: “So then when he goes out and starts publicly admitting to his role in this thing and he says, ‘I just gave it to the back seat. I don’t know who did the shooting. Somebody in the back’ — all he’s trying to do is avoid that already existing conflict from when he threw his nephew under the bus.
“Now he’s like, ‘Maybe it could have been Dre, it could have been Orlando.’ If both of those guys are dead at the time that you’re making your confession to law enforcement in 2009 and you’re going to provide false information, then you would definitely say it was Dre, because you don’t have any loyalty to him like you would your own nephew.”
“You also have to understand that within the environment of a gang, it’s Orlando Anderson’s job to pull the trigger, not only because already a well-known shooter and he’s got a reputation, it’s because he’s the one that got his ass kicked,” Kading added, referencing 2Pac and his entourage attacking Anderson inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas hours before the shooting.
“He’s a punk if he lets somebody else take the gun out of his hand and [retaliate] for his ass-kicking. Orlando Anderson is not going to let somebody step in front of him and do that.”