Two men arrested in 2002 killing of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay

New York: Two men 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 killings, two law enforcement officials said.

The officials were not authorised to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity. One of them identified the suspects as Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan. Federal prosecutors were expected to announce the charges at a news conference on Monday afternoon, local time.

Jam Master was shot and killed in a recording studio in the New York borough of Queens on October 30, 2002.  Credit:Reuters

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.

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.

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.

The 37-year-old Jay was shot once in the head in his Queens recording studio by a masked assailant, 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 $US60,000 ($83,000) 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.


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