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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 April 2006, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Gun charges follow rapper death
Rapper Proof was a member of Eminem's rap group D12
A man has been charged with gun offences following the fatal shooting of rapper Proof, a close friend of US star Eminem.

Mario Etheridge, 28, has been charged with discharging a firearm in a building and carrying concealed weapon.

Proof, real name Deshaun Holton, was killed at a nightclub in Detroit. Another man is still critically ill.

"Our investigation in this case is far from over," Detroit prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

Police said witnesses reported that Proof fired the first shot at army veteran Keith Bender, 35, inside the CCC nightclub on Detroit's Eight Mile Road, made famous in Eminem's film.

"Our investigation into the death of Proof continues. There can't be any conclusions about anything until that investigation is completed," added assistant prosecutor Maria Miller.

A lawyer for Mr Etheridge said any shots that may have been fired were done in self-defence.

'Spirit and influence'

"If anyone discharged the weapon, it was in defence of others or themselves," said Randall Upshaw.

"If it takes discharging a weapon to save a life, then I find it disturbing that you would be charged with discharging a weapon."

Proof's funeral will be held on Wednesday, his record label Iron Fist has announced.

Eminem has paid tribute to his friend, who acted as best man at his recent wedding and was a member of his rap group D12.

"He pushed me to become who I am," he said in a statement.

"Not a day will go by without his spirit and influence around us all. He will be missed as a friend, father and both the heart and ambassador of Detroit hip-hop.

"He inspired everyone around him. He can never, ever be replaced. He was, and always will be, my best friend."

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