October 2, 1973 - April 11, 2006
"If you can survive Detroit, I'll be damned if I'll go anywhere and
be hoed out. 'Cause this place is a muthafucka."
On April 11, 2006, Proof was drinking in a club
called C.C.C. on 8 Mile in Detroit.
It was 4:30 a.m. The club was serving booze illegally - after hours - making
it a "speakeasy."
The speakeasy I used to go to
back in my bartending days (The Gas Station - The E Ramp) was called Sonny's, used to sell lines of coke with the drinks. Don't know if
that was the case here.
Contrary to what people think, all of 8 Mile
Road is not horrible. Parts of it hit Harper
parts of it hit Grosse Pointe.
I had a friend call and ask if it were true there were blockades on 8 Mile Road
to keep the blacks out of the white neighborhoods.
So not true.
That's on Alter Road.
So, long story short, there was a fight - with
guns - and Proof gets shot three times in the head and chest, and was killed
almost immediately. He was taken to the hospital,
where he was pronounced dead.
His 3-hour funeral was held at the Fellowship
Eminem eulogized his late friend and former best man.
Several hundred people showed up, and there was a bomb threat.
Proof's body was taken by horse-drawn
hearse to Woodlawn Cemetery. According to one report, more than a
dozen stretch white limos, black and green stretch Hummers and hundreds of cars
tied up traffic for more than two hours.
Proof is in a crypt
just around the corner from Rosa Parks.
A makeshift "shrine" showed up at a telephone pole near the nightclub, which has now closed its
doors for good.
Things sure have changed since I grew up.
There is a party store about 20
yards from where Proof was shot where I used to ride my bike to, to buy Wacky
Last time I was home, I went through my old
neighborhood and discovered the house where
I grew up had burned.
The old downtown movie theater
I worked in as a projectionist is now gone,
like this still grace downtown.
Sure, Detroit has come a long way in
recent years, but its still a pretty painful. Sad, really.
Tip from Findadeath friend Shannon added June
06: Just a word on Proof that you recently posted on the site, the guy who was
charged in his death Mario Ethridge had the murder charge dropped as it was
stated in acted in self defense as Proof shot his cousin (Mario's) Kevin Bender
who was in the Army. Mr. Ethridge apparently was a bouncer at the CCC
club. They said Proof had a blood alcohol level of 0.32 which is 4 times
over the limit in Michigan and a fight broke out over a game of pool. Mr. Ethridge is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and unlawfully
discharging a firearm in a building, but it was stated he acted in self defense
in protecting his cousin.
Scott from Toledo adds: I'm a bouncer at a night club 45 minutes away from Detroit
and I've known Proof for about 6 months. The DJ at our club grew up with all
of them (Proof, Eminem) and Proof was a regular here in Toledo and he came off
as non violent. So if u hear anything at all saying "he fired first"
its just an utter lie because on the news around here, they only interviewed
friends and family of the so called "victim".
This is how the news in the area portrays it has happening, Keith
Bender (bar owner) and Proof get in a scuffle over a pool game over money that
Proof won. Proof (the non violent?) then
shoots Bender and is killed by a bouncer. Ok now here's the REAL
story. Yes they had an argument over a pool game but Proof knew something was
bound to happen being in Detroit. The guy and Proof get in an argument and
they both drew. Bender shot, he missed and Proof pistol whipped him.
Now here comes the big bad bouncer shooting proof THREE times with an
unlicensed gun. He claimed self defense but what is a bouncer doing with
a gun anyway? I've been a bouncer for 7 years and I've never had to use a gun
or any other type of weapons as I've disarmed people with my bare hands. the
man is not being charged with murder, only an unlicensed gun. Self
defense warrants a wounded person, not 3 shots at close range to the head.
On a happy note, I did find another bar
that used to be a speakeasy during prohibition called the Eastside
Tavern, with a perversely low ceiling, but a great place to get cheap beer.