Friday evening, the unthinkable tragedy took place within our community to one of our own.
Jamal Gaines, known to many customers and friends as “Mally”, was shot and killed in the Rahway, NJ sneaker store he opened just a few years ago East Coast Boutique with SoleyGhost. The 21-year-old entrepreneur started the business at the young age of only 18. He started the business from home initially while still in high school in hopes to be able to take care of his family.
To many he was a friendly shop owner with one of the best sneaker spots in New Jersey, but he was also a son, a brother, and a grandson.
“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 told WABC.
Police have no apparent motive for Mally’s murder, but they are now searching for answers as many are angry over his senseless murder.
Tremendous outpouring for 21 year-old Jamaal Gaines. Killed at his sneaker store in Rahway. Heartbroken community. pic.twitter.com/kpu8RcOxYH
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) February 28, 2016
“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 recalled to WABC’s CeFaan Kim.
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.
At this moment, little is known about the shooting and there are apparently no motives behind the crime.
The tragic death of Mally brought together hundreds of sneakerheads, customers of East Coast Boutique, and others from within the industry for a candle-light vigil last night to remember the young man.
The Union County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the shooting of Mally. There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
If you have ANY information, PLEASE contact the authorities. Senseless acts of violence like this need to stop in our community.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Mally’s family, friends, and East Coast Boutique crew.