Police Report: Proof Fired First

Rapper fired first bullet in fatal Detroit club shootout

April 12, 2006 3:04 PM ET

Proof -- the D12 rapper and longtime friend of Eminem who was fatally shot during a shootout Tuesday at a Detroit club -- fired the first bullet, police stated Wednesday.

The victim, Keith Bender, 35, was shot in the head at 3C, a bar located on the city's famed Eight Mile strip. Police were called to the scene around 5 a.m. after reports of gunfire and fighting at the venue, which was operating illegally after-hours.

According to police spokesman Sgt. Omar Feliciano, detectives are currently trying to determine who in turn shot Proof, who was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Proof was among the most revered MCs in Detroit and befriended fellow Motor City rapper Eminem before joining Em's rap troupe D12. Proof went on to make a brief appearance in Em's hit biopic, 8 Mile, and was ever-present in the courtroom in 2001, when Eminem was battling gun charges. Proof also served as the best man at the superstar rapper's wedding to his on-and-off love Kim Mathers last January.

He released his solo debut, Searching for Jerry Garcia, last summer on his independent label Iron Fist Records. "It's a long time coming," he told Rolling Stone shortly before the release. "I'm very nervous because of the perception of the group we run with -- there's a lot of pressure."

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