Police, rap world diverge on possible killing motive

Friday, November 1, 2002

NEW YORK -- While police investigated whether a feud led to the fatal shooting of hip-hop pioneer Jam Master Jay, friends and family mourned him Thursday and puzzled over the slaying.

The 37-year-old rap star, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was shot once in the head at close range with a .40-caliber semiautomatic in the Wednesday night attack on the second floor of his recording studio, police said.

Two witnesses told investigators conflicting stories about the killing, which took place as Mizell played video games in a lounge with a 25-year-old man, who was shot in the leg.

A woman who was at the studio told police two armed attackers were buzzed into the three-room facility about 7:30 p.m. and opened fire almost immediately.

But the wounded man, Uriel Rincon, who was released from a hospital Thursday, told investigators that one masked man opened fire after a struggle, police said.

"They're checking out varying theories, including, 'Was it the result of a personal feud? Was it linked to this East Coast-West Coast rappers?' and other possible motives," a law enforcement source said.

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