Two men indicted in 2002 killing of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay

Two men are indicted in 2002 killing of Run-DMC hip hop star Jam Master Jay

  • Law enforcement officials on Monday said two suspects had been indicted for killing Jason ‘Jay’ Mizell, also known as Jam Master Jay 
  • Jay was 37 when he was shot in the head in his Queens recording studio in 2002
  • Federal prosecutors were expected to announce the charges at a news conference Monday afternoon 
  • Police sources identified the suspects as Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan 
  • Washington had reportedly been living on Jay’s couch in the days before his died
  • He was publicly named as a possible suspect or witness as far back as 2007
  • Washington is currently serving a federal prison sentence stemming from a string of robberies he committed while on the run from police
  • Jordan was reportedly arrested by the ATF in New York on Sunday 

Two suspects have been indicted in the 2002 killing of hip hop artist Jam Master Jay (pictured), which until now had been one of New York City’s most notorious unsolved killings, two law enforcement officials told the Associated Press on Monday

Two suspects have been indicted in the 2002 killing of hip hop artist Jam Master Jay, which until now had been one of New York City’s most notorious unsolved murders, law enforcement officials say.  

The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity. Federal prosecutors are expected to announce the charges at a news conference Monday afternoon.

One of the three officials identified the suspects as Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan. 

Washington, who had reportedly been living on a couch at Jay’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 Jay’s death aged 37. 

In court papers filed at the time, prosecutors alleged that Washington waved a handgun around and ordered people in Jay’s Queens recording studio to lie on the ground while another man killed him on October 30, 2002.

Washington ‘provided cover for his associate to shoot and kill Jason Mizell’, prosecutors wrote.

Jay – whose real name is Jason Mizell – was gunned down at his recording studio in his hometown of Hollis, Queens, on October 30, 2002

Jay was a member of 1980s hip-hop sensation Run-DMC with Joseph ‘Run’ Simmons and Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniel

Jason ‘Jay’ Mizell, known professionally as Jam Master Jay, was a member of 1980s hip-hop sensation Run-DMC with Joseph ‘Run’ Simmons and Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniel. 

Their hits included ‘It’s Tricky,’ ‘Christmas in Hollis’ and the Aerosmith remake collaboration ‘Walk This Way.’  

Jay was shot once in the head with a .40-caliber bullet by a masked assailant at his studio in Hollis, the Queens neighborhood 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 Jay, including the two armed gunmen. 

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

Jay’s acquaintance with Washington upset his family. Before sleeping on Jay’s couch, Washington had been linked to the 1995 fatal shooting of Randy Walker, a close associate of the late Tupac Shakur.

Police are pictured outside the recording studio where Jay was shot dead on October 30

Run-DMC’s hits included It’s Tricky, Christmas in Hollis and the Aerosmith remake collaboration Walk This Way. The trio are pictured in New York City in May 1985 

The Run-DMC trio became known as the pioneers of hip-hop in the early eighties, popularizing the then-underground music movement for the masses.

They went on to become the first hip-hop act to have a gold album, a platinum record, Grammy nomination and, in 2009, they became only the second hip-hop group in history to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

Run-DMC were the first rap group to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, and they were the first to appear on American Bandstand and have their videos played on MTV. 

It was Jay who is credited for creating the band’s distinctive style of wearing heavy gold chains, black hats, and Adidas shell-toe sneakers minus the laces, once saying, ‘How I dressed in high school is the way we dressed… My vibe is our vibe.’ 

Their reign came to a tragic end in 2002 after Jay was shot and killed at his recording studio.  

The mysterious circumstances surrounding Jay’s death were chronicled in a 2018 Netflix documentary called ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay? 

The film failed to come to a conclusion about who committed the killing. 

This is a developing story.    

Fans visit a wall of tributes outside Jay’s studio in the wake of his death aged 37 

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