Today marks exactly two years since a local entrepreneur was shot and killed in his own downtown Rahway sneaker store, and authorities are renewing their request for assistance from the public in an effort to solve the crime, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Monday.
The Prosecutor’s Office today is re-releasing a video clip pulled from surveillance footage recorded just after the shooting took place in an attempt to identify the two gunmen seen therein.
Police responded to the 1500 block of Irving Street in Rahway at approximately 9:15 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2016 to find 21-year-old Jamal Gaines suffering from a gunshot wound, and he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
A joint investigation involving the Prosecutor’s Office’s Homicide Task Force, the Rahway Police Department, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office’s Identification Unit revealed that two people with their faces obscured by fabric accessed Gaines’s sneaker store through a rear utility door, resulting in a physical struggle that culminated in the fatal shot being fired. At that point the two suspects ran out of the building the same way they came in, after which they can be seen on surveillance footage sprinting down a rear alley, with one of the two exhibiting a pronounced limp.
The suspect with the limp appeared to be wearing dark pants, light-colored sneakers, and a dark hooded sweatshirt with a light-colored patch on the left arm. The other suspect appeared to be wearing a lighter-colored hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, and brown or beige shoes. Both brandished handguns.
The investigation into the death of Mr. Gaines remains highly active, with tips continuing to be submitted and checked to this day. Anyone with information about the shooting still is being urged to contact Homicide Task Force Sgt. Michael Manochio at 908-966-2287 or Sgt. Sofia Santos at 908-577-4256. The Union County Crime Stoppers also are continuing to offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case; tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-TIPS (8477), via text message by texting “UCTIP” plus a message to 274637 (CRIMES), or online at www.uctip.org.