Music

Third Man Arrested in 2002 Shooting of Run-D.M.C.’s Jam Master Jay

Jam Master Jay of RunD.M.C. in Los Angeles California May 1999.

Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C. in Los Angeles, California, May, 1999. (Photo by Bob Berg/Getty Images)

Third Man Arrested in 2002 Shooting of Run-D.M.C.’s Jam Master Jay

Prosecutors allege the man was seen entering the building just before the shooting and left DNA at the scene

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have indicted a third man in connection with the 2002 shooting death of Run-D.M.C.’s Jam Master Jay, the New York Times reports. Jay Bryant, a 49-year-old resident of Queens, New York, was charged with murder while engaged in drug trafficking as well as other trafficking-related charges. Bryant was already in custody awaiting trial on a separate drug-related indictment. 

Jam Master Jay (born Jason William Mizell) founded Run-D.M.C. in 1983 with Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons and Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels. He was shot to death at 37 on October 30, 2002 in a recording studio in Jamaica, Queens. Prosecutors allege Bryant was seen entering the studio building just before the shooting, and that clothing with his DNA was found at the scene. 

Two men, Karl Jordan Jr. and Ronald Washington, were arrested in 2020 in connection to the shooting and indicted on similar charges of murder while engaged in drug trafficking. Jordan and Washington pleaded not guilty; their trial in scheduled to begin in January 2024. Washington had been named as a suspect as early as 2007.

In 2018, Netflix released ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?, the third episode of its music documentary series, exploring the circumstances of his unsolved murder case.

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