Unlikely alliance

Chapter 3: Smaller east-side gangs team up as hit lists appear on Instagram

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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 third chapter in the "Death by Instagram" series.

The promise that Michael Davis would sit on the witness stand and identify Seven Mile Bloods members in a fatal shooting was broken quickly March 8.

Davis, 27, defied U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh’s order to testify about the shooting.

“No, your honor,” Davis said.

Michael Davis (Photo: Michigan Department of Corrections)

Davis stepped down from the witness stand and was indicted for refusing to testify about who shot him and killed buddy Djuan “Neff” Page.

Page’s killing in July 2014 forged a new alliance on the east side of Detroit.

The Hustle Boys, 6 Mile Chedda Grove, Maxout 220 gangs and others banded together to battle the historically stronger Seven Mile Bloods, prosecutors say.

Approximate locations of rival gangs on the east side of Detroit.

After Page died, photos of 10 Seven Mile Bloods members were posted on Instagram.

A hit list, prosecutors say.

Several photos — including pictures of accused Seven Mile Bloods leaders Corey Bailey and Billy Arnold — were posted on Instagram by someone using the name “All Head Shots.”

Months passed and Seven Mile Bloods members and associates got shot.

Donell Hendrix, who is charged in the case and raps under the name “Hardwork Jig,” survived being shot in August 2014 at Eastland Center mall. Jason "White Boy" Gill, 30, was killed the following February. Someone pumped 18 bullets into accused Seven Mile Bloods member Michael Rogers in March 2015.

In all, seven accused members of the Seven Mile Bloods were shot. Four died.

Accused Seven Mile Bloods members and co-defendants shot during the gang war include (clockwise from top): Donell Hendrix, Jerome Gooch, Jason "White Boy" Gill, Quincy Graham and Michael Rogers.

The Seven Mile Bloods retaliated by posting photos of 62 rivals on the gang’s Instagram page, “000_big_blood,” according to the government.

“Do (the Seven Mile Bloods) call the police?” U.S. Justice Department trial attorney Julie Finocchiaro said. “No, they go out hunting.”

Seeking revenge 

The rivals were hunting, too.

On May 1, 2015, alleged Seven Mile Bloods leader Devon “Block” McClure was riding in a blue Ford Crown Victoria on Detroit’s east side, south of The Red Zone.

Seven Mile Bloods member Devon McClure smoking in a video for the rap track "Murda." (Video: YouTube)

Charismatic in front of a camera, McClure, 26, often starred alongside gang members in YouTube rap videos.

Sometimes, he posed with firearms. Other times, just his trigger finger.

Around 1:15 p.m., McClure’s car neared the intersection of Hayes and Houston Whittier.

That’s when a tan-colored SUV pulled alongside McClure. Someone started shooting.

Bullets shattered windows in McClure’s car, flattened tires and struck the Seven Mile Bloods leader several times in the head, killing him.

Devon McClure was shot at this intersection south of The Red Zone.

After McClure was killed, his photo was posted on the rivals’ Instagram account “@all_new_victims55,” according to trial testimony.

The caption referenced McClure’s nickname “Block” and Arnold’s nickname “B-Man.”

“We got block out the way,” the caption read. “Bman you know u next.”

Infamous ties 

McClure's death remains unsolved and factors prominently into the Seven Mile Bloods case as an inciting incident.

McClure was an acquaintance of Ihab Maslamani, who lived in The Red Zone.

Maslamani killed 21-year-old Matt Landry, a Chesterfield Township man, who was abducted in 2009 outside a Quiznos sub shop in Eastpointe. 

Landry's body was found in a burned-out house on Maddelein Avenue in The Red Zone.

Matt Landry (File photo)

Maslamani was a member of the Seven Mile Blood Juniors, a sect initially composed of schoolkids from The Red Zone, according to the government.

After Maslamani gained notoriety for the Landry killing, members were inspired to change the name of the Seven Mile Blood Juniors to "Hobsquad" to honor the convicted killer, prosecutors allege.

McClure's death, meanwhile, would inspire Instagram tributes and vengeance.

Ihab Maslamani during his arraignment Aug. 12, 2009. (Photo: Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)

READ CHAPTER 4 | Rapid vengeance: A friend of rapper "Team Eastside Peezy" races for home amid a hail of bullets.

 

 

 

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