Investigators investigating a triple homicide that killed three rappers in a Detroit suburb earlier this year said Friday that the murders 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 Feb. 2 in an abandoned apartment building in the town of Highland Park, 6 miles northwest of Detroit, authorities said the next day.
Citing the need to dispel false rumors, Michigan State Police said on Friday, “This was an incident related to gang violence.”
“This killing was not random,” the agency said tweetedadding that it had nothing to do “with music or a performance”.
Kelly’s mother, Lorrie Kemp, has not disputed the gang-related characterization. In February, the Detroit Free Press reported that Kemp claimed the crime was gang-related retaliation from her son’s time in prison.
Speaking to Detroit-based NBC affiliate WDIV, Kemp said of the triple murder, “I think it was set up.”
“Did I know Armani was in a gang?” she said in a segment that aired on the station Friday. “No. Did he end up in jail in a gang? Yes.”
The Detroit News has reported that in 2022, Kelly was released from prison early, where he was held on charges of armed robbery. His fiancé, Taylor Perrin, told the publication, “He really turned his life around.”
The three went missing around the time a performance scheduled for Jan. 21 at a Detroit venue was canceled. The missing persons case turned into a murder investigation when the bodies of the three were found on February 2.
On February 7, police said the cause of death was “multiple gunshot wounds”.
A spokesman for the Wayne County Attorney General’s Office said it had no public information on any possible persons of interest.
On Friday, Michigan State Police, the main agency investigating the triple homicide, said no one was in custody in the murder and was calling for witnesses and tips that could lead to closure for the victims’ families.
“There are other people who know the details and we need them to step forward,” the agency said.