Exclusive: "King of Detroit" Argument Sparked Shooting, Says Witness

 An exclusive source has revealed that the argument that resulted in the death of D12 member Proof was initiated by the other victim in the shootout over a "King of Detroit" argument.

"[Bender] started an argument with Proof, knowing who he was," the source told. "Proof told him he didn't want to hear any bullshit and that he was 'King of Detroit' and stuck his hands in [Bender's] face.

"The guy then pulled out his gun and then Proof pulled his out and shot -- hitting the guy," the source added. "The guy's cousin who is a bouncer at the club then shot Proof. They grabbed up the gun from the guy Proof shot and fled."

According to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office, Proof was shot three times in the head and the chest. He was pronounced dead on arrival at St. John Conner Creek Village in Detroit. Bender is currently in St. Johns Hospital and Medical Center in critical condition.

On Wednesday afternoon (April 12), Mario Etheridge, a 28 year-old bouncer at the Triple C's nightclub, turned himself in to Detroit Police accompanied by his attorney Randall Upshaw. Upon arrest, he revealed he was Bender's cousin.

Etheridge is still in custody and authorities are continuing to investigate whether he should face charges in the shooting, which Detroit Police said, might have been in self-defense. But  sources say Etheridge surrendered out of self-preservation."The guy turned himself in out of fear he was going to get got at by Proof's people," said the source. "Proof frequented the place and there is of course no way the bouncer or anyone else in the club didn't know who he was,"
Proof's untimely death continues to overwhelm his fans and peers in the music industry.

Eminem has paid tribute to best friend Proof, who was shot dead in Detroit on Tuesday (11.04.06).

The star - who was seen in tears after hearing the rapper had been gunned down during a row outside the city's CCC nightclub - has posted a message on his website, www.eminem.com.

"You don't know where to begin when you lose somebody who's such a big part life for so long. Proof and I were brothers. He pushed me to become who I am. Without Proof's guidance and encouragement there would have been a Marshall Mathers, but probably not an Eminem and certainly never a Slim Shady. Not a day will go by without his spirit and influence around us all. He will be missed as a friend, father and both the heart and ambassador of Detroit hip-hop.

Right now, there's a lot of people focusing on the way he died. I want to remember the way he lived. Proof was funny, he was smart, he was charming. He inspired everyone around him. He can never, ever be replaced. He was, and always will be, my best friend." -EMINEM

Today, Royce Da 5'9" expressed his feelings regarding the unfortunate passing of Proof in a statement.

"I am deeply saddened by the murder of someone I called a good friend. I've known Proof for over nine years and will always remember him for the joy and life that he brought into every room he entered. We first met at Detroit's Hip Hop Shop where Proof was hosting open mics and was considered by most to be Detroit's freestyle king. Even then you could tell there was something special about him."

"Some people might be familiar with a well-publicized beef that Proof and I had a couple of years ago," Royce added via the statement. "Thankfully though, we had not only resolved our conflict, but we also restored our friendship. Back in December, we went overseas together for a few spot dates in Europe where we had a chance to catch up on 'the good ole days.' We both laughed at how we sometimes forget how far we've come, until you look out of your hotel window and see London's Big Ben or Paris's Eiffel Tower. On that tour we had a chance to visit cities we never even knew existed. Not bad for two kids from Detroit, huh."

"His death is such a loss for the hip hop community, and especially for the city of Detroit. I hope that he will be remembered for the talented artist and great person that he was, and not the tragedy that he fell victim to. My thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family, friends, and anyone that was ever touched by him."

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