The family of Run-DMC‘s Jam Master Jay has spoken out after two men were charged over his death in 2002.
The DJ, whose real name was Jason “Jay” Mizell, was fatally shot inside a recording studio in Queens, New York City on October 30, 2002. Mizell’s murder has remained unsolved for nearly two decades.
Karl Jordan Jr has been charged with murdering Mizell, as confirmed by the US attorney’s office for New York’s eastern district. A second suspect, Ronald Washington, will be arraigned later this week.
In a statement shared on Instagram, Mizell’s son TJ wrote: “First and foremost we want to thank everyone who has reached out in support of our family today. We appreciate your kind thoughts and words.
“Upon hearing this news we have mixed emotions; we truly hope that these indictments are a solid step towards justice being served in the murder of Jay.
“We realise that there are other families out there who have lingering pain who continue to wait for their own closure, and we pray that this case gives them hope. In spite of all the tragedies we’ve seen this year alone, we take comfort in our family, our faith and in time’s ability to heal all. We can only hope that this new brings awareness to the fact that Black lives do matter.”
In a subsequent statement obtained by HipHopDX, JMJ’s bandmate Darryl “DMC” McDaniels also opened up on the pain of his passing.
“Although this latest news opens up a lot of painful memories for all of us who knew and loved Jam Master Jay, I’m relieved to hear that two suspects have been arrested and charged with his murder,” he wrote. “It’s been a difficult 18 years not having him around while knowing that his murderers were not yet indicted for this heinous crime.
“I commend NYPD, NYC Detectives, Federal Agents and all the law enforcement who were involved in this case, for not giving up and working to bring justice for Jay. I realise this is a first step in the judicial process, but I hope Jay can finally Rest in Peace. My love to Jay’s wife Terri, his sons, his family, his friends, and all of his fans. #JMJForever.”
Federal investigators speaking anonymously to The New York Times said they believe Mizell was financing a drug operation, and his involvement contributed to his murder. “There was beef – it didn’t go as planned,” an investigator said.
Washington, 56, is already incarcerated for a robbery. Jordan, meanwhile, had previously gone to prison for shooting Mizell’s nephew.
Jam Master Jay, along with Joseph Run Simmons and Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniel, was part of Run-DMC, who are best known for their hits ‘It’s Tricky’, ‘Christmas In Hollis’ and their Aerosmith remake collaboration ‘Walk This Way’.