Police & Fire

Union County Prosecutor's Office Seeks Public’s Assistance Sought in 2016 Rahway Homicide

Public’s Assistance Sought One Year Following Rahway Homicide Credits: Union County Prosecutor's Office

Sunday will mark exactly one year since a local entrepreneur was shot and killed in his own Rahway sneaker store, and authorities are again requesting assistance from the public in an effort to solve the crime, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.

The Prosecutor’s Office today is re-releasing video clips pulled from surveillance footage recorded just before 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.

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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 shooters 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 shots 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.

Anyone with information about the shooting still is being urged to contact Homicide Task Force Sgt. Michael Manochio at 908-966-2287 or Detective 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.

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