Two People Have Been Arrested in the Shooting Death of Jam Master Jay

Jam Master Jay’s death has been unsolved for almost 18 years.

Two people have been arrested in the 2002 killing of legendary Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay.

Federal prosecutors announced the 10-count indictment of Ronald Washington and Karl Jordan, Jr. on Monday, August 17th. Jordan, who is 36 and would have only been 18 at the time of the shooting, was taken into custody on Sunday, August 17th. While Washington, who is 56, is currently in federal prison on robbery charges. This new development comes three years after the case was officially declared “cold.”

The indictment papers say that Jordan and Washington “together with others, with malice aforethought, did unlawfully kill Jason Mizell, also known as ‘Jam Master Jay.’” Jam Master Jay, real name Jason Mizell, was shot and killed on  October 30, 2002, in a recording studio in Jamaica, Queens. The killing has been one of the biggest mysteries in hip-hop history. According to the court papers, Washington and Jordan broke into the studio Jam Master Jay was recording at in Queens and shot him in the head.

Prosecutors said that the hit was revenge for Jam Master Jay cutting them out a deal involving 10 kilos of cocaine.

If you have been following this case, then you have heard the name Ronald Washington before.

When Washington was convicted of a number of robberies in 2007, prosecutors identified Washington, who went by the name “Tenad,” as the armed accomplice. At time, Washington had denied involvement. But, according to the NYTimes, both men are cooperating with authorities.

Washington is also a suspect in the 1995 fatal shooting of Randy Walker, who was better known as Stretch from Live Squad. Stretch had been a close friend of Tupac during the legendary rapper’s New York City days.

After the announcement was made, the family of Jam Master Jay responded to the news on social media. In a statement released on Run-DMC’s official social media account, the family wrote:

“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…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. We can only hope that this news brings awareness to the fact that Black lives do matter.”

Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email:

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Dimas Sanfiorenzo

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