While theories concerning a lookout and prime suspect have surfaced in the fatal shooting of Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay, police will say only that their investigation continues, and that they have yet to name a suspect. Meanwhile, an additional $250,000 reward is being offered in hopes of bringing the culprits to justice.
The Sunday edition of the New York Post reported that an associate of the iconic DJ may have served as a lookout while Jay, born Jason Mizell, was shot to death (see "Jam Master Jay, Run-DMC DJ, Killed In Shooting").
The alleged associate is believed to have tipped the killers off when Jay arrived at his 24/7 studio in Queens, according to the Post. He then waited outside while the perpetrators committed the crime. The man believed to be an accomplice to Jay's murder is thought to be hiding out in Washington, D.C. He was only identified as "a convicted drug dealer."
The paper also said that Jam Master Jay may have been killed for a dispute over money, and fingered an individual named Curtis Scoon as the prime suspect in the investigation and the man wanted by police for questioning. In last Monday's New York Times, it was reported that police were hoping to question a man — only identified at the time as being from "the South" — in connection with the killing (see "Police To Question Man In Connection To Jam Master Jay Murder"). The Times report said he had been feuding with the acclaimed turntable technician.
Attorney Marvyn Kornberg, who recently represented Justin Volpe in the Abner Louima assault case, said last week that a man believing he was the subject of the Times report acquired his services. Kornberg said his client will not be talking to police unless he is arrested and charged.
On Tuesday, Detective Bernard Porter Jr. of the 103rd precinct said he could not confirm the report about Scoon, and that police still did not have any suspects. They are still soliciting members of the community for information on Jam Master Jay's slaying.
"We're always interested in hearing what the streets are talking about who may have been involved," Porter said. "It's our job to prove or disprove what the streets are saying."
People may be enticed to come forward with a new reward that has been posted. Charles Fisher, founder and chairman of the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council, said his organization recently received an anonymous donation of $250,000 to be used as reward money. This compensation is independent of the $62,000 that has already been put up by the New York Police Department and a coalition spearheaded by Russell Simmons.
Fisher, who started his organization shortly after Russell Simmons held the inaugural Hip-Hop Summit in June 2001, said the donor did not want to have any dealings with the authorities, but felt comfortable leaving the money in his care.
"He [said] he would be willing to support what we're doing and contributed this money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderers of Jam Master Jay, but it would have to be through our private number [which is] 718-264-9092," Fisher said of the mystery person. "This is almost like the street tip line. Everything is confidential, you don't deal with law enforcement, you'll be dealing directly with the streets.
"People trust us enough to know that we have a working relationship with the police and we're like the press — we don't give up our sources," he continued. "But we turn information over to the police. We don't want to do the police's job, I'm not going out to arrest anybody. I just want the information."
Over the weekend, flyers were posted throughout Queens urging anyone who knew about the pioneer's slaying to contact the authorities. A $62,000 reward was listed as an incentive. "America's Most Wanted" also leant a hand to the investigation — the program ran a segment about the killing on Saturday.
Anyone with information can call the 103rd Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 657-8822 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
The Mizell family has said 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.