Eminem pays tribute to Proof as investigation continues

Rapper calls slain bandmate his 'best friend'

Eminem has broken his silence over the killing of his best friend and bandmade Proof this week.

After a period of private mourning, he paid tribute to the D-12 rapper, saying that without him there would “never have been a Slim Shady”.

Proof – born DeShaun Holton – was shot on Tuesday morning (April 11) at Detroit’s CCC Club.

According to MTV, Eminem said in a statement: “You don’t know where to begin when you lose somebody who’s been such a big part of your life for so long. Proof and I were brothers. He pushed me to become who I am. Without Proof’s guidance and encouragement there would have been a Marshall Mathers, but probably not an Eminem and certainly never a Slim Shady.

“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 continued: “Right now, there’s a lot of people focusing on the way he died. I want to remember the way he lived. Proof was funny, he was smart, he was charming. He inspired everyone around him. He can never, ever be replaced. He was, and always will be, my best friend.”

Meanwhile, the late rapper’s lawyer has hit out at police claims that it was Proof who fired first in the incident, allegedly shooting another man, Keith Bender, in the face before being fatally wounded himself. David Gorosh told the Detroit Free Press : “To indicate that Proof pulled the trigger first is reckless and quite frankly will be proved to be untrue… There are ways to determine what shots were fired and by whom. There’s an ongoing investigation… Until all of the factual evidence has been evaluated, an opinion by the Detroit Police Department is premature.”

Bender remains in a critical condition. His cousin, Mario Etheridge , is being interviewed on suspicion of killing Proof after turning himself in on Wednesday. However, authorities have said that he may not be charged if it is proved he was shooting in self-defence, or to protect somebody else.