Prosecutor Says Bouncer’s Warning Shot Prompted Proof to Pull Gun
Slain Detroit rapper Proof only pulled out his weapon after his killer fired off a warning shot in Detroit’s CCC club on the night of his murder, a prosecutor in the trial of Mario Etheridge alleged today (September 18) in court. Etheridge, who fired the fatal shots that killed Proof, is currently on trial for a charge of discharging a firearm in a building and possession of a concealed weapon. According to the Detroit Free Press, assistant prosecutor Elizabeth Walker stated that when Etheridge fired the warning shot, “that was the first display, the first use, the first time anyone knew about a weapon.” It was at that point, according to the prosecution, that Proof drew his weapon and fired at Keith Bender, who was Etheridge’s cousin. Bender, who was celebrating news of an improved heart condition, also died several days later from his wounds. In May, the District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute Etheridge for Proof’s murder, saying he acted in self-defense when he shot the rapper. Additionally, Andre Boyd, a witness to the events in the club that night, testified this morning that he saw Proof get into two separate scuffles with another club-goer before he started fighting with Bender. Etheridge’s trial is expected to last two days.