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Tupac Shakur arrested in Tennessee? Yep, that’s his name — but it’s not who you think

A man by the name of Tupac A. Shakur was arrested Saturday by the Johnson City Police Department in Tennessee. It’s not the famous rapper, however.
A man by the name of Tupac A. Shakur was arrested Saturday by the Johnson City Police Department in Tennessee. It’s not the famous rapper, however. Washington County Detention Center photo

A man named Tupac Shakur was booked over the weekend for assault and drug offenses in east Tennessee, giving rise to all manner of conspiracy theories on social media.

Never mind that this Tupac A. Shakur is neither black nor a rapper like the famed Tupac A. Shakur who was assassinated in 1996.

“Everyone said he was alive,” wrote Ashley Whitehurst on Facebook.

“Told y’all he wasn’t dead!” Roc Davis posted.

The Johnson City Police Department arrested Shakur on Saturday and issued a press release saying he’d been charged with “aggravated assault, resisting arrest, simple possession of meth and unlawful drug paraphernalia.”

Investigators said they went to the area in search of someone with outstanding warrants and found Shakur in the passenger seat of a vehicle.

“Officers attempted to placed him in custody and he pulled away reaching at his waistband. Mr. Shakur then attempted to turn towards officers with a knife in his hand before being taken to the ground,” a press release said.

“After a brief struggle, Mr. Shakur was placed in custody. Mr. Shakur was in possession of a syringe and multiple baggies of methamphetamine.”

Hundreds of reactions on social media ranged from tongue-in-cheek to claims the real Tupac Shakur was still alive, even if this wasn’t him.

“Just last week I read from a (British) tabloid that Tupac was alive. I thought it was fake news and I wasn’t about to devolve into conspiracy theories. I should of listened,” posted Marco Rivera.

“We tried to tell y’all he was still alive,” posted Nate Fain on Facebook.

“Something about Tupac looks different, but I just can’t place it,” wrote Robert Light on Facebook.

“What a great disguise,” Jaclyn DeSanti wrote.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, the LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.
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