Two men charged in 2002 killing of US DJ Jam Master Jay

Jason Mizell ‘Jam Master Jay’ was a member of the influential hip-hop group Run-DMC.

jam master jay
Jason Mizell 'Jam Master Jay' (far right) was a member of the hip-hop group Run-DMC before he was killed in 2002 [File: Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press]

Two men have been indicted in the 2002 slaying of hip-hop artist Jam Master Jay, which until now had been one of New York City’s – and United States music’s – most notorious unsolved killing. 

Jam Master Jay, the DJ for hip-hop group Run-DMC whose real name was Jason Mizell, was killed inside a recording studio in the New York City borough of Queens on October 30.

Mizell was shot once in the head with a .40-caliber bullet by a masked assailant at his studio in Hollis, the Queens neighbourhood where he grew up, police said at the time.

Hip-hop is now the most popular music genre in the US

The US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said in a news release on Monday that Karl Jordan Jr would be arraigned later on Monday on charges of murdering Mizell, while Ronald Washington would be arraigned later this week.

Washington, who had reportedly been living on a couch at Mizell’s home in the days before his death, was publicly named as a possible suspect or witness as far back as 2007.

He is currently serving a federal prison sentence stemming from a string of robberies he committed while on the run from police after Mizell’s killing.

Washington had also been linked to the 1995 fatal shooting of Randy Walker, a close associate of the late Tupac Shakur. 

Police identified at least four people in the studio with Mizell at the time of the killing, including the two armed gunmen.

The city and Mizell’s friends offered more than $60,000 in reward money, but witnesses refused to come forward and the case languished 

Run-DMC, one of the best-known rap acts of the 1980s, was founded in New York City in 1981. 

Source: News Agencies