Public’s assistance sought one year following Rahway homicide

Jamaal ‘Mally’ Gaines, 21, was shot dead during a robbery at his sneaker store in Rahway one year ago. (Photo: Facebook)

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.

Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park released video clips pulled from surveillance footage recorded just before the shooting took place in an attempt to identify the two gunmen who killed Jamal “Mally” Gaines.

The Prosecutors office initially released video from nearby cameras almost four months after the shooting death of the 21-year-old business owner in Rahway.

Authorities did not say why investigators waited so long before asking the public for assistance.

The videos, first released last year on June 15, show the killers as they enter store and later fled from the scene.

Despite inquiries from NJTODAY police refused to confirm reports that one of the gunmen might have shot himself in the foot or leg, but a man is apparently limping in one of the videos

Police responded to the 1500 block of Irving Street in Rahway at approximately 9:15 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2016 to find the 21-year-old victim suffering from a gunshot wound.

Gaines was pronounced dead a little while later.

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

According to witnesses and the video, two shooters with their faces obscured by fabric accessed Gaines’ sneaker store through a rear utility door, resulting in a physical struggle that culminated in the fatal shots being fired.

After shooting Gaines, 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.

Sources say the assailant may have shot himself in the leg or foot but authorities have not confirmed that. 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

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