YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Two women and a man have been arrested in connection with the murder of a local Facebook celebrity who was shot and killed in Ypsilanti Township after an argument with commenters during a live stream.
The shooting happened around 11 a.m. June 28 in the 1000 block of Nash Avenue in Ypsilanti Township, according to authorities.
Terrell Smith, 46, of Ypsilanti Township, had become a local celebrity because of his Facebook Live streams, officials said.
He was known for his “brutally honest” live streams called “Rells Corner.”
Smith went on Facebook Live on June 28 and was talking to the camera, expressing his loyalty to Ypsilanti.
“What makes y’all think because y’all moved that ya’ll better than Ypsi?” Smith said on the stream. “Y’all aren’t better than Ypsi. Ya’ll a product of Ypsi.”
He got into a heated exchange with someone who was making comments during the stream, according to authorities. That person was making threats, officials said.
“Now y’all on Facebook, ‘I’m riding around with 60 shots,’” Smith said on the stream.
Thousands of people were watching when, minutes later, someone drove up to Smith’s house in Ypsilanti Township, authorities said.
“OK, we’ve got action,” Smith said on the stream. “We’ve got action.”
Police said more than 30 shots were fired, and Smith was struck.
The shooting wasn’t seen on the live stream, but a neighbor can be heard calling 911.
The video was viewed 37,000 times before Facebook was alerted and removed it.
3 people arrested
Deputies with the Washenaw County Sheriff’s Office said they found Smith suffering from multiple gunshot wounds when they arrived at the scene.
Medical officials transported him to a nearby hospital, but he died from his injuries, according to officials.
Three people were taken into custody Friday (July 1) in connection with Smith’s death.
Martita Bonner, 41, of Ypsilanti Township, and Jermia Castion, 25, of Ypsilanti, were arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit homicide/open murder. They are being held at the Washtenaw County Jail on $1 million bond, authorities said.
A 24-year-old man from Ypsilanti was arrested in Georgia, police said. He is in the process of being brought back to Washtenaw County, and charges are pending, according to officials.
The investigation is ongoing, police said. Anyone with information is asked to email email@example.com or call 734-476-9594. To remain anonymous, residents can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.