Wednesday, Oct. 2, 1996 | 11:59 a.m.
A gang member was arrested today in Southern California reportedly in connection with the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas, authorities said.
Orlando Anderson, 22, of Compton, Calif., was taken into custody early today by Compton Police. A Compton jail spokesman said Anderson was being booked into the jail this morning.
Anderson was brought in as part of a police sweep in Compton that netted about a dozen gang members.
A New York radio station reported this morning that Anderson told police that Marion "Suge" Knight, Death Row Records owner and driver of the BMW in which Shakur was a passenger, was the target of the Sept. 7 drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas Strip.
Compton Police said Anderson has ties to the Los Angeles Crips gang. Knight reportedly has ties to the Los Angeles Bloods and sports an "M.O.B." tattoo on his arm that police have said stands for "Member of Bloods."
Knight, who owns a home in the southeast Las Vegas Valley and has interest in a nightclub here, gave police very little information after the shooting. It took four days for him to meet with homicide detectives to give a statement.
Shakur, 25, died Sept. 13 from chest and abdominal wounds. Although he was conscious at the time he was admitted into University Medical Center, he was in a coma and on a respirator at the time of his death. A day after the shooting, doctors surgically removed a lung to try to stop internal bleeding.
Knight, 31, was driving with Shakur on East Flamingo Road a few blocks off the Strip after the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon heavyweight fight when a gunman in a white late-model Cadillac pulled up next to them and emptied a semiautomatic pistol into the passenger side. Knight suffered a minor head injury during the shooting.
Knight, driving with two flat tires, made a U-turn on East Flamingo after the shooting even though bicycle patrol officers were in pursuit. He told investigators he was trying to find a hospital, police said. Knight was finally stopped by officers about a mile away.
Shakur, whose family and relatives told homicide detectives that his real name is Lesane Crooks, was struck four times, in the chest and abdomen.
Metro homicide Lt. Larry Spinosa would not say how Anderson was arrested, only that he had information that someone had been arrested in Southern California.
Days after the shooting, three attorneys accompanied Knight to the offices of Metro's homicide division where detectives questioned him for about an hour.
"We were hoping he would tell us who shot him," homicide Sgt. Kevin Manning said. "He didn't give us anything beneficial."
Knight also did not shed light on a possible motive for the shooting.