The murders of two Detroit rappers and a friend — all of them found fatally shot in an abandoned apartment complex — are gang-related, police said Friday.
The Michigan State Police Department provided the update in a bid to dispel speculation swirling around their investigation into the slayings of Armani Kelly, Montoya Givens and Dante Wicker.
“We know there are a lot of media/social media rumors about this investigation,” police said. “While we have to keep some things private, we know a couple of things: There is no one in custody for this homicide [and] this homicide was not random and had nothing to due with music or a performance.”
All three men disappeared on Jan. 21, the same night the rappers were forced to cancel a performance at Detroit’s Lounge 31 over equipment issues. Family members reported them missing two days later after they were unable to get in touch with any of the men.
Their bullet-riddled bodies were discovered on Feb. 2 in the basement of an abandoned apartment in Highland Park, a city about 10 minutes outside Detroit. Their remains were hidden beneath piles of debris and construction material.
Kelly, 27, of Oscoda, performed under the alias Marley Whoop. Wicker, 31, of Melvindale, used the stage name B12. Givens was also 31 years old. They all met in prison, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Kelly and Givens were on parole at the time of their disappearance, according to the state Corrections Department.
“This was a gang violence-related incident,” police said. “There are other people that know the details and we need them to come forward. … Together we can bring closure to these families.”