Federal prosecutors will announce today the indictments of two men connected to the 2002 killing of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay, according to The New York Times. Sources connected to law enforcement claim Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan, Jr. were engaged in drug trafficking when they murdered the pioneering DJ. Washington, 56, is currently in a federal prison for robbery; Jordan, 36, was arrested on Sunday.
Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was shot dead at a Queens, New York recording studio in 2002. Despite five or six witnesses, the police arrested no one at the time, but within a month, authorities said they were pursuing a convicted drug dealer, who possibly served as a lookout during the shooting. At the time, they reported that Jay had been murdered over a financial dispute.
A year after the killing, Rolling Stone reported that Washington, “a convicted robber and former associate of Jay’s,” had fingered an aspiring rapper, Karl Jordan, who went by Little D, and his father, Darren (“Big D”) as being linked to the murder. Washington claimed he had seen the Jordans go into Jay’s studio the night of the murder and fled out of the back door moments later. In August 2003, police charged Karl with shooting Jay’s nephew, Rodney Jones, in the leg on a Queens street a few months earlier. In 2007, Rolling Stone reported that one of the gunmen had “a tattooed neck” and that a source claimed the other man was Washington, who had not been charged. Two years ago, Netflix launched a documentary, ReMastered, exploring the killing.
Run-DMC announced it had “officially retired” a week after Jay’s death and their two surviving members have reunited sparingly in subsequent years. The rapper was laid to rest after a November 2002 service in Queens. Attendees included Jay’s wife and three kids, Run, DMC, Russell Simmons, Queen Latifah, Kurtis Blow, MC Search, and Public Enemy’s Professor Griff. LL Cool J sent a flower arrangement that said, “Love, respect — LL Cool J, Student.” Run commented, “This is Jason’s biggest hit ever. This is his last and best DJ gig ever.”
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