Editor's note: Detroit News reporter Robert Snell spent more than a year investigating Detroit’s gang wars and the Justice Department’s attempts to topple the Seven Mile Bloods. This is the fourth chapter in the "Death by Instagram" series.
After Devon McClure died, best friend and alleged Seven Mile Bloods leader Billy Arnold issued a threat, according to trial testimony.
“He was like, ‘I’m killing everybody,’” McClure’s girlfriend Matleah Scott, 24, testified.
The Seven Mile Bloods waited six hours for vengeance, prosecutors allege.
Again, the violence on May 1, 2015, happened just south of The Red Zone.
That Friday, Ralpheal Carter was walking home from a neighborhood party store along Troester, near Denby High School, with his daughters, ages 2 and 3.
A white Dodge Avenger pulled alongside the trio.
“Get ready, get set, go!” Carter said to the girls.
The trio raced for home.
“Something else was racing that night,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline said. “It was that car to intercept Mr. Carter before he got home.”
Ralpheal Carter was ambushed at the corner of Troester and Queen streets south of The Red Zone.
Witnesses and evidence indicate Arnold and friend Keithon Porter were riding in the Avenger, prosecutors said. A single gunman leaned out the front passenger-seat window and fired multiple rounds from an AR-15-style rifle, according to the government.
“The first shot struck Carter...and severed his spine, instantly paralyzing him,” Graveline said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline. (Photo: The Associated Press)
Carter was shot again.
Carter never saw the shooter.
In all, 22 rounds were fired at Carter, who survived. His daughters, one of whom hid from the bullets behind a barbecue grill, emerged unscathed.
“The first shot just froze me up,” Carter, 32, testified while sitting in a wheelchair. “I was in a daze.”
Carter’s girlfriend, Myia Lipscomb, found him in the front yard.
“His arm was, like, hanging off,” Lipscomb, 27, testified. “He had holes everywhere.”
Myia Lipscomb and Ralpheal Carter. (Photo: Facebook)
In all, Carter suffered gunshot wounds to his right hip, left inner thigh, right lower leg, lower left arm and left forearm.
“God has the last word,” Carter testified. “I don’t want to be paralyzed for the rest of my life.”
Soon after the shooting, someone posted an excerpt from The Detroit News’ coverage of the shooting on the Seven Mile Bloods’ Instagram page, “000_big_blood.”
Carter got shot for one reason, prosecutors said.
“He was known to hang out with 'Peezy,' ” said Graveline, the prosecutor.
"Peezy" is Detroit rapper Phillip Peaks, who is linked to the 6 Mile Chedda Grove gang, according to the government.
Phillip Peaks, aka "Team Eastside Peezy." (Video: YouTube)
The gunman fired so many rounds, one bullet that missed Carter traveled several blocks east and hit neighbor Terry Marshall, 59, near the ankle.
The weapon used in the attack followed a longer, deadlier path in the months ahead.