Funeral Set For Short Hills Mall Carjacking Victim Dustin Friedland
SHORT HILLS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A funeral will be held Wednesday for a Hoboken man who was fatally shot in front of his wife during a carjacking Sunday at an upscale New Jersey mall.
Services for Dustin Friedland, 30, are scheduled for 11 a.m. at Beth Am Shalom in Lakewood.
Friedland and his wife had just finished holiday shopping Sunday night at The Mall at Short Hills when they were confronted by two armed men as they were getting into their Range Rover on the third-floor parking deck, prosecutors said.
Sources tell CBS 2 there was a struggle and Friedland was shot in the head. His wife was not injured. Friedland was taken to an area hospital, where he later died.
Friedland may have been trying to protect his wife, who was already in the SUV when the suspects put a gun to his head, sources said.
Surveillance cameras captured the scene after the shooting, sources told CBS 2. The Range Rover was seen speeding away followed by a Chevrolet Suburban that was believed to be the car the two suspects drove to the mall. Sources told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez that police were closing in on capturing the suspects.
Sources said the Suburban was also caught on surveillance video driving around the mall before the shooting.
Friedland’s Range Rover was found Monday morning at an abandoned and boarded-up house on Renner Avenue in Newark, about 11 miles from where the fatal shooting took place.
Its rear windshield was shattered.
“It’s horrible. Horrible. I mean, I have kids that age. God bless,” said family friend Richard Woldoff.
“The kid’s 30 years old,” he continued. “They’re the nicest family in the world.”
The shooting suspects remain at large. The reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case has increased to $41,000.
A $20,000 reward is being offered by the Essex County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers program, another $20,000 is being offered by the Taubman Company, which owns the mall, and the Morris County’s CrimeStoppers program is offering $1,000, NJ.com reported.
Friedland and his wife, Jamie Schare Friedland, had recently purchased and moved into an apartment in Hoboken after renting for several years on River Street. The couple had just celebrated their second wedding anniversary in October.
Friedland graduated from Toms River High School North in 2002.
On Tuesday, the school district issued the following statement: “Dustin was a successful scholar/athlete alumni who graduated from High School North in 2002 and went on to be a practicing NJ attorney. He was a role model for our current students. We are shocked and saddened by this tragic, senseless act of violence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Friedland family and friends as they say goodbye to a son, husband, brother and friend.”
Friedland attended law school at Syracuse University. After graduating, he went to work for a patent law firm in Westfield.
“He was just the most charming, delightful guy,” said Bruce Sales of Lerner, David, Littenberg, Krumholz & Mentlik, LLP. “My sympathies to his wife and his family, and the staff loves him. They were in tears, and some of them still are.”
Friedland’s wife is also a lawyer, reportedly specializing in landlord-tenant law.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 877-847-7432.
Sunday’s murder was on the minds of shoppers at the mall Tuesday, some of whom were worried about their own safety.
“It was kind of eery going into the lot here to park,” one woman told CBS 2′s Emily Smith.
Another woman said she chose to park in her usual spot, which happens to be in the upper-deck lot next to Nordstrom, the same place where Friedland was shot.
“That’s my parking spot,” she said. “That’s where I park. And a police car was traveling around, so, no, I don’t feel insecure. I feel OK.”
But with a thinner-than-usual crowd and a little more than a week before Christmas, some shoppers wondered if Tuesday’s turnout could be attributed to fear.
Mall officials, however, said shoppers might have been deterred because there was snow and it was a Tuesday.
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