One of Tupac Shakur's backup rappers who witnessed the fatal shooting of the hip-hop star was gunned down in a New Jersey housing project this weekend. So far, police are saying that the slaying of 19-year-old Yafeu Fula has no connection with Tupac's death.

But Fula's death will further stymie the slow-moving murder investigation. "It's another dead end for us," said Las Vegas police Sgt. Kevin Manning, the lead investigator.

Police found Fula at 3:48 a.m. Sunday in a housing project. He was shot once in the head and was pronounced dead later that afternoon at a nearby hospital.

Two suspects, both juveniles, were arrested and are being questioned by Orange police. "As far as we know, at this time, there is no connection" to Shakur, said Capt. Richard Conte.

Fula, a member of Shakur's backing group Outlaw Immortalz, was riding with bodyguards in the car behind Shakur when the rapper was shot by unknown assailants returning from the Tyson-Bruce fight September 7 in Las Vegas. Police questioned Fula after the drive-by, but, like others in the Death Row Records entourage, he subsequently refused to cooperate with police.

Strangely enough, Fula was also murdered the night of a Mike Tyson fight. Evander Holyfield defeated Mike Tyson just hours before Fula was killed.

Meanwhile, Shakur's driving companion and Death Row Records head Marion "Suge" Knight is sitting in a Los Angeles courtroom today accused of drug-related probation violations. His nine-year prison sentence for beating two rappers could be reinstated. Later this month, federal prosecutors will contend he used marijuana in violation of a 1994 firearms trafficking conviction in Las Vegas.

The one bright spot in an otherwise dire news week at Death Row comes courtesy of Shakur's posthumous album, The Don Killuminati--The 7 Day Theory. Recorded under the alias Makaveli, the collection entered the charts at No. 1, with incredibly strong sales of 664,000 copies.

Think the Tupac killing will ever be solved? Let us know.

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