Police say Michigan rappers’ triple homicide is gang-related, seek guidance
Investigators investigating a triple homicide that killed three rappers earlier this year in suburban Detroit said Friday the killings were the result of gang violence and had nothing to do with music.
The bodies of Armani Kelly, of Oscoda, Michigan; Montoya Givens, of Detroit; and Dante Wicker, of Melvindale, Michigan; were found on February 2 in an abandoned building in the town of Highland Park, 10 km northwest of Detroit, authorities said the next day.
Citing the need to dispel false rumours, Michigan State Police said on Friday, “This was a gang violence incident.”
“This homicide was not random”, according to the agency tweetedadding that it had nothing to do “with any music or performance”.
Kelly’s mother, Lorrie Kemp, did not dispute the gang-related characterization. In February, the Detroit Free Press reported that Kemp alleged the crime was gang-related retaliation for his son’s time in prison.
Speaking to NBC affiliate WDIV of Detroit, Kemp said of the triple homicide, “I think it was a setup.”
“Did I know Armani was part of a gang? she said in a segment that aired on the station on Friday. “No. Did he join a gang in prison? Yes.”
The Detroit News reported that in 2022 Kelly was released early from prison, where he was being held for armed robbery. His fiancée, Taylor Perrin, told the publication, “He’s really changed his life.”
The three went missing around the time a scheduled Jan. 21 performance at a Detroit venue was canceled. The missing persons case turned into a homicide investigation when the bodies of the three people were found on February 2.
On February 7, police said the cause of death was “multiple gunshot wounds.”
A spokesperson for the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office said it had no public information on any persons of interest.
On Friday, Michigan State Police, the lead agency investigating the triple homicide, said no one was in custody in the homicide and pleaded for witnesses and counsel that could lead to the closure of the victims’ families.
“There are other people who know the details and we need them to come forward,” the agency said.