Community heartbroken after owner of Rahway sneaker shop killed in shooting

ByCeFaan Kim WABC logo
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Community mourns death of NJ business owner
Kristin Thorne reports on the death of a Rahway business owner killed inside his store.

RAHWAY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey community is mourning after the owner of a sneaker store was fatally shot.

21-year-old Jamaal "Mally" Gaines was shot at East Coast Boutique on Irving Street in Rahway on Friday night. More than a hundred people held a candlelight vigil for Gaines on Saturday. Police say there were so many mourners that they had to close the road. Emotions are raw, and hearts are broken.

"They didn't get any money. They got nothing, so he was killed for nothing. They got nothing. Just shoot him for what?" said Mally's mother, Tina Wilson.

Police have no apparent motive for Mally's murder, but they are now searching for answers as many are angry over his senseless murder.

"He was supposed to give my other daughter away, because she's getting married in April, and he was supposed to walk her down the aisle," said Mally's grandmother, Hatty Manocchi.

Mally's sister, Divinity Gaines says he was the funniest person she has ever met in her life, and was also loving and caring.

"He would give a homeless person the shirt off his back. He would give a person the last bit of food. It didn't matter," she said.

Mally opened the sneaker store when he was just 18 years old - it was a business he started at home while he was still in high school. His dream was to build the business so he could take care of his family.

With mourners coming in from all walks of life, it is family that includes everyone he encountered - everyone who knew him.

The sneaker store was Mally's life, so his family says his legacy will live on, and the store will not close. Friends will keep it open.

The Union County Prosecutor's Office is investigating the shooting. There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

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