Two men have been charged over the 2002 shooting death of Jam Master Jay, the DJ for hip hop group Run-DMC.
- Jam Master Jay was shot once in the head by a masked assailant at his studio
- $US60,000 in reward money was on offer, but no witnesses came forward
- One of the men charged was reportedly couch-surfing at the DJ’s home before the murder
Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was killed inside his recording studio in the New York City borough of Queens.
The case had been one of New York City’s most notorious unsolved killings, three law enforcement officials told the Associated Press.
The United States Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said Karl Jordan Jr would be officially charged with murder, and another suspect, 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.
In court papers filed at the time, prosecutors alleged Washington waved a handgun around and ordered people in the studio to lie on the ground, while another man killed Mizell, on October 30, 2002.
Washington “provided cover for his associate to shoot and kill Jason Mizell,” prosecutors wrote.
Washington is currently serving a federal prison sentence stemming from a string of robberies he committed while on the run from police after Mizell’s death.
The DJ was shot once in the head by a masked assailant at his studio in Hollis, the Queens neighbourhood where he grew up, police said at the time.
He left behind a wife and three children.
Police identified at least four people in the studio with him at the time, including the two gunmen.
The city and Mizell’s friends offered more than $US60,000 ($82,700) in reward money, but no witnesses came 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 and retired after Mizell’s death.
The other members were Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.
Their hits included It’s Tricky, Christmas in Hollis and the Aerosmith remake collaboration Walk This Way.