Deaths of Michigan Rappers 'Was Not Random' and Was a 'Gang Violence-Related Incident': Police
The Michigan State Police provided new insight into the deaths of Armani Kelly, 38, and Montoya Givens and Dante Wicker, both 31, whose bodies were found in an abandoned apartment complex on Feb. 2
The triple homicide of three men in Michigan is tied to gang violence, according to authorities.
The Michigan State Police department launched an investigation into the death of rappers Armani Kelly, 38, and Dante Wicker, 31, as well as Montoya Givens, 31, after the men were reported missing on Jan. 21, the night that their performance at Lounge 31 in Detroit was canceled.
Related:3 Mich. Rappers Missing for Over 10 Days After Cancellation of Detroit Show
After their bodies were discovered almost two weeks later in an abandoned Highland Park apartment complex on Feb. 2, Michigan State Police First Lt. Michael Shaw told NBC affiliate WDIV that it looked "like they were killed upstairs and then dumped in the basement."
While the Michigan State Police Twitter page shared an update on Friday revealing that there is currently no suspect in custody, the department provided new insight into the case, adding that "this homicide was not random and had nothing to [do] with music or a performance."
Investigative Update/Public Assistance Request:
Detectives are continuing to investigate the triple homicide in Highland Park that occurred on or before February 2nd. We continue to ask for public assistance with tips on this investigation. 1/ pic.twitter.com/bF76rJdzih
— MSP Second District (@mspmetrodet) March 17, 2023
"This was a gang violence-related incident," the update continued. "There are other people that know the details, and we need them to come forward. Please call 800.Speak.Up if you have information on this case. Together we can bring closure to these families."
Related:3 Mich. Men Reported Missing Before Being Found in Abandoned Building Died of Gunshot Wounds
According to WJBK, Kelly's mother, Lorrie Kemp, reported her son missing on Jan. 23, when she was able to use OnStar to help police locate her son's car in Warren.
Givens and Wicker's families made the connection when they saw the news report four days later and realized all three men knew each other.
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"I just beg for help, for anything. I need answers and, if it comes to it, I need closure because I will never forget and I will never stop," Kelly's fiancée Taylor Perrin told the outlet, explaining that Kelly was working, going to school, and developing his rap career while bouncing back from a robbery arrest.
A 2021 report by the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center shows that violent crime cases in the case increased by 0.3 percent from 2020 and increased by 9.2 percent since 2017. While murder cases decreased in 2020, the number of cases reported in the state was higher than in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
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