The family of slain rapper PROOF have been hit with a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of KEITH BENDER - the man allegedly shot by the late D-12 rapper in a Detroit, Michigan, club last month (APR06). Proof - real name DESHAUN HOLTON - allegedly shot Bender during an argument at the CCC nightclub on Eight Mile Road on 11 April, before he was reportedly shot by Bender's cousin MARIO ETHERIDGE. Bender was hospitalised in a critical condition and died a week later (18APR06). The legal papers, filed in Detroit yesterday (01MAY06) by Bender's wife JACQUELINE and mother LEONA, claim Proof "violently assaulted and battered (Bender), culminating with the infliction of a gunshot injury that caused the death of Mr. Bender". Bender family lawyer MICHAEL CAFFERTY said in a statement, "It is shameful that Mr Holton is being lauded as a hero and martyr, when, in fact, it was his own criminalistic conduct that not only led to his death, but took the life of an honourable, innocent man."