The murder of Tupac Shakur over 20 years ago has been the subject of the most persistent conspiracy theories in all of hip-hop. While there are those who believe the rapper is still alive and well in Cuba, others focus on who was behind his killing. Now, just days before Tupac is to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the man who was in the car with him on that fateful night alleges to know what really happened.
Suge Knight was driving the black BMW in which Tupac was shot on September 13th, 1996. Through a signed affidavit from his attorney, Thaddeus Culpepper, the former Death Row Records CEO now claims that he was the intended target of the drive-by shooting, and that “Knight has known for many years that Reggie Wright Jr. and his ex-wife Sharitha [Golden] were behind the murder of Tupac and attempted murder of Knight.” He also alleges the attack was part of Sharitha’s attempt to gain control over Death Row.
Knight’s decision to finally speak on the matter came after filmmakers Richard Bond and Michael Douglas Carlin revealed the “salient points” of their new documentary,Tupac Assassination: Battle for Compton, to Culpepper. The lawyer relayed the information to Knight, who “admitted to Culpepper that the theories in the movie were true,” according to The Daily Mail. Culpepper’s affidavit, dated July 18th, 2015, is featured in the film.
The affidavit was taken by former LAPD detective Russell Poole, now deceased. In 2015, Poole told Vice that he believed Sharitha and Wright Jr. were indeed behind the murder as part of a coup of Death Row Records. “Suge wasn’t divorced yet and if he died in that hit, she’d get most of everything,” said Poole. “So she went to Wright Jr., who was in charge of Death Row and ran it while Suge was in prison.”
Wright Jr. has faced accusations about his involvement in Tupac’s murder for years, and is quick to point out that many who throw around such accusations end up dead. “I believe in karma,” he said. “All these people are dropping dead. I keep telling people God don’t like ugly. I hope people learn a lesson from this.” In addition to Poole, Tupac’s former bodyguards Michael Moore and Frank Alexander have also died, and White Jr. thinks Tupac’s Assassination director Bond is next. “I ain’t predicting no death on anybody, but they better get their selves right,” White Jr. warned. “They better stop with all this bullcrap they’ve been promoting, because they’re all dying like flies around here.”
Conspiracy theorists might not be mollified by Knight’s statements or Tupac Assassination. Tupac was struck with four bullets while standing out of a sunroof in Las Vegas; 14 bullets were fired, and only a fragment hit Knight. Those are some crappy assassins if Knight was their true target. In fact, Knight himself has been accused of orchestrating Tupac’s death; theorists who follow that line of thinking likely aren’t going to take too seriously an affidavit from the lawyer of someone they already think is a murderer.
Tupac Assassination: Battle for Compton is out now on home and digital platforms. Watch a trailer for the doc below.
Knight is currently in jail awaiting trial for a hit-and-run murder that occurred on the set of the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton in early 2015. He faces life in prison.