NEW YORK — While Jam Master Jay's family moves ahead with plans for a public memorial, police investigating Wednesday night's fatal shooting of the hip-hop legend are optimistic about their chances of finding his killer. (Click for photos of fans' memorial to Jam Master Jay.)
"I am confident that being the person who [Jay] was and the legacy he left, that the person who has the information will do the right thing and come forward and help us out," said detective Bernard Porter Jr., who is investigating the homicide (see "Jam Master Jay, Run-DMC DJ, Killed In Shooting").
"If [Jay] was just a street guy who was in the mix and at the wrong place at the wrong time, it would take longer to solve. We are expecting help from the community," Porter said. "That phone call might come five minutes from now, it might come tomorrow, it might come a few days from now. One thing I feel good about is that it's gonna come because of who Jay was. He was loved and respected. People might come forward with information, they might not be doing it for any personal gain, they'll be doing it for him." (Click here for recent photos of Jam Master Jay.)
Porter said police have recovered ballistic evidence from the crime scene but could not divulge what was found. He would also not discuss how many others were in the studio at the time of the attack besides Jay (born Jason Mizell) and Uriel Rincon, who was shot in the leg and survived.
Porter did say the two assailants were buzzed in to the building, located at 90-10 Merrick Blvd. in Jay's hometown of Queens. But police don't know if the perpetrators were allowed in from the studio or from one of two other businesses that share space in the building.
The detective said investigators have encountered nothing but cooperation so far. "The folks we've been speaking to have been cooperative based on the fact that they love and respect Jay," Porter explained. "What we've found is that he's very beloved, not just in Queens but all over the country, probably around the world" (see "Friends Remember Jam Master Jay").
Police give no credence to tabloid suggestions that Mizell's death was related to a rap rivalry. "It's unfortunate and it's got to be hurtful to his friends in the hip-hop community that [some in the media say] it 's a rap war, condemning him and his profession," Porter said. "We're not doing that."
The community is welcome to say a final farewell to Jay on Monday and Tuesday in Queens. The family will hold a wake on Monday at the Jay Foster-Phillips Funeral Home, 179-24 Linden Blvd. Public viewing will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The funeral will follow on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Allen A.M.E Cathedral, 110-31 Merrick Blvd.
The Mizell family has said that donations can be made to the Mizell Children's Fund, c/o Terri Corley-Mizell, P.O. Box 3497, New Hyde Park, NY 11040.
For full coverage of the Jam Master Jay case, see the Jam Master Jay Reports.