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Philips, who has been tracking the case since Shakur was gunned down six years ago today, began an intensive investigation a year ago in which he interviewed cops who worked on the case, witnesses to the shooting and gang members who had never spoken to the press before.
TUPAC’S KILLER REVEALED
L.A. Times Reporter Chuck Philips Solves a
Six-Year-Old Hip-Hop Murder Mystery
Once again, Chuck Philips has gotten his man.

Following the ouster earlier this year of NARAS head Mike Greene, the subject of a series of damning articles by the dogged Philips, the L.A. Times Pulitzer Prize winner has fingered Tupac Shakur's alleged killer, and he’s done it, with characteristic drama, on the sixth anniversary of the rapper’s murder in a page one Times story.

Philips, who has been tracking the case since Shakur was gunned down in a hail of bullets while sitting in the passenger seat of a car in Las Vegas with Suge Knight back in 1996, began an intensive investigation a year ago in which he interviewed cops who worked on the case, witnesses to the shooting and gang members who had never spoken to the press before. None of those interviewed was willing to be identified, for obvious reasons.

And the killer is…

Southside Crips member Orlando Anderson, who'd been beaten up by Shakur earlier on the evening of Sept. 7, 1996. Further, Philips claims, Anderson fired the fatal shots with the Glock belonging to and supplied by Shakur's rival, Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, who was himself gunned down in L.A. following a Source party in March '97. Additionally, Wallace paid the Crips $1 million to carry out the assassination. Anderson was shot and killed in 1998 in an apparently unrelated incident. Wallace and Anderson had told police that they had nothing to do with Shakur’s shooting. 

Wallace's family reacted harshly to the charges, saying the L.A.Times story "takes facts on record and juxtaposes them with hazy, unattributed remarks which are not the result of any legimate investigation, but rather are simply an effort to generate more confusion and publicity."

The statement insisted [Notorious B.I.G.] "had nothing to do with the death of Tupac Shakur.  He wasn't in Las Vegas at the time of the crime, he did not arrange the murder, he didn't pay $50,000 of bounty money to anyone and he did not hand a gun to Orlando Anderson to be used in the hit on Tupac.  It is all lies."

The estate is considering bringing a lawsuit against the Times insisting the rapper "was at his home in New Jersey on the night of Tupac Shakur's murder, with friends who will continue to testify for his whereabouts since he is unable to defend himself."

The estate also accused LAPD of being "neglectful" in their investigation of Biggie's murder and have filed a lawsuit against the department for its failure to fully investigate the murder.

"Christopher Wallace's friends and family will continue to stand by him and support his memory in the face of this latest accusation against his character and his life. This false story is a disrespect to not only our family, but the family of Tupac Shakur.  Both men will have no peace as long as stories such as these continue to be written." 

Russell Simmons, head of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, also criticized the article, saying, "[it] does more to inflame passions and emotions than to clear the air with actual facts concerning the tragic murder of Tupac Shakur six years ago."

Simmons insisted that B.I.G. was at his home in New Jersey on the night in question, a fact substantiated by rapper Lil Cease, who said he was with Wallace at the time.

"People should not rush to judgment concerning this tragedy based on inaccuracies as reported by the L.A. Times.  We need healing in our community.  Only facts and the real truth will bring ultimate justice and peace," continued the statement signed by Simmons and Hip-Hop Summit Action Network President Benjamin Chavis Muhammad.

Meanwhile, in part two, coming Saturday (9/7), Philips explains why the police investigation failed to single out Anderson, or come up with any suspect at all.

A video interview with Philips accompanies the piece on the Times website, as the reporter gets his own star turn.

Check out allhiphop.com for continuing reactions to the provocative story from the hip-hop community.

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