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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Young Talented Entrepreneur Gunned Down in His Popular New Jersey Sneaker Store

Jamal Gaines

21-year old entrepreneur, Jamal Gaines

Rahway, NJ — 21-year old Jamal “Mally” Gaines, the owner of a local sneaker store called East Coast Sneakers, was recently shot and killed just as he was closing up his shop for the day. Gaines had just recently overcame a car accident and partial blindness, and had found success running a thriving business.

Gaines had started the company when he was just 18 years old after he sold most of his 500-pair collection and invested in setting up his own storefront. However, it didn’t initially catch on and he was forced to close just a few months later. But Gaines did not give up. He took on a job at FedEx until he saved enough to give it another shot, and six months later, in the summer of 2013, he opened his second boutique. Some of his shoes sold for up to $1,200 a pair.

So what happened?

Local media outlets report that Gaines closed the shop as usual around 8pm, and later some men pounded on the back door. Gaines, having no idea who they were, told a friend to let them in.

Gaines’ mother, Tina Wilson, then says that one of the guys “pushed his arm and put the gun to his head, so my son threw a drink on the guy with a gun and ran toward him. And the second guy shot him.” The men reportedly did not steal any money or inventory.

Gaines’ business partner, who goes by the name of SoleyGhost, comments, “They didn’t get money, they didn’t get sneakers. They just got Mally. I lost a best friend and a business partner over nothing. Zero.” He and other friends of Gaines plan to keep the store going to preserve his legacy.

But Rahway is much safer compared to other cities in New Jersey, right?

Yes, the city of Rahway is no where near as dangerous as other cities like Newark. Authorities say that Gaines’ death marked just the first gun homicide this year in the city of Rahway. Last year, in 2015, there were only two gun murders in the city of more than 28,000.

Meanwhile, this past Saturday, hundreds of friends, family, and community members flooded the street in front of the shop, holding candles, sharing memories, and voicing outrage about Gaines’s death.

How to Help

Send flowers, cards, and or donations to:

The Family of Jamal Gaines
East Coast Boutique
1546 Irving Street
Rahway, NJ 07065

(or make a donation online to his family at www.gofundme.com/longlivemally)


Watch the vigil below: