The family of Jam Master Jay, born Jason William Mizell, speaks out after two men were charged with the Run-DMC DJ’s October 2002 murder.
In a statement released on Run-DMC’s official Twitter page Monday, the Mizell family thanked fans for their support after Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan Jr. were indicted in the rap legend’s fatal shooting.
Despite these charges, the family has “mixed emotions” regarding the legal update.
“First and foremost we want to thank everyone who has reached out in support of our family today. We appreciate your kind thoughts and words,” they said. “Upon hearing this news we have mixed emotions; we truly hope that these indictments are a solid step towards justice being served in the murder of Jay.”
“We realize that there are other families out there who have lingering pain who continue to wait for their own closure, and we pray that this case gives them hope,” they continued. “In spite of all the tragedies we’ve seen this year alone, we take comfort in our family, our faith and in time’s ability to heal all.”
While hoping “that this news brings awareness to the fact that Black lives do matter,” the family asks everyone to “please respect [their] privacy as this case moves forward through the judicial system.”
In a 10-count indictment unsealed on Monday, city and federal authorities announced that Washington and Jordan were charged with Jay’s killing while engaged in narcotics trafficking and firearm-related murder.
Per court papers filed on Monday, officials say Washington and Jordan allegedly broke into Jay’s studio in Jamaica, Queens, at about 7:30 p.m on October 30, 2002.
After Washington allegedly forced someone to the ground at gunpoint, Jordan allegedly fired a bullet into Jay’s head, killing him almost instantly.
“They walked in and murdered him in cold blood,” Seth D. DuCharme, the acting U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, was quoted as saying by The New York Times.
As reported by TMZ, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says Jordan allegedly fired another shot, which struck a different person in the leg.
Prosecutors say the two men allegedly “executed” Jay after the musician sought to exclude them from “a multi-kilogram, multistate narcotics transaction.”
At his arraignment on Monday afternoon, Jordan — who was also charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and seven counts of cocaine distribution — pleaded not guilty. He was previously taken into custody on Sunday.
Washington, who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for six robberies, is expected to be arraigned later this week. Per The New York Times on Monday, Washington did not appear to have a lawyer representing him on the new charges.
If convicted, both men face minimum sentences of 20 years in prison.