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Black co-owner of New Jersey sneakers shop is killed in front of his shop.
RAHWAY, N.J. — The co-owner of a New Jersey sneaker boutique was shot to death outside his own store Friday night, authorities said.
Friends and family of 21-year-old Jamaal Gaines gathered outside the East Coast Sneaker Boutique Saturday, a consignment store that sold high-end sneakers.
Union County prosecutors said the shooting at the Irving Street business was reported around 9:15 p.m., according to the Associated Press. When police arrived at the seen, they found Gaines suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
Gaines went by the nick name “Mally” and was described by loved ones as highly passionate and driven.
On his Facebook page, he talked about opening his first sneaker store at 18. When that shut down, he tried again and opened the boutique just a few months ago.
Friends said Gaines also had an interest in music. Ruff Ryders rapper “Verbz” had just shot a music video in the store a few weeks ago.
” Mally was one of the best people. He wasn’t a street guy or a gang- banger,” Verbz said.
“He was like my little brother. This goes way beyond sneakers. And all I hope is that whoever did this is brought to justice.”