Family, Friends Bid Final Farewell To Short Hills Mall Carjacking Victim Dustin Friedland
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Friends and relatives gathered to bid a final farewell to a Hoboken attorney who was fatally shot in front of his wife during a carjacking at an upscale New Jersey mall last weekend.
Services for Dustin Friedland, 30, were held Wednesday at Beth Am Shalom synagogue in Lakewood.
“I think many of us come here with difficult and agonizing questions,” the rabbi said as he began the service. “I have no suitable answers. Our task is to comfort Dustin’s family. For most of us here, we’re in unfamiliar territory. It’s scary.”
During the service, Friedland’s widow, Jamie Schare Friedland, remembered her husband with laughter as she spoke of the good times and tears as she recalled the loss.
She told mourners that Dustin was the best husband she could have asked for.
“He wasn’t here long enough, but he did so much while he was,” she said. “I was lucky to be with him for his forever.”
During the service, Jamie said the rabbi who married them told them that, once wed, they’d become one person. It was something Friedland took to heart, often reminding her of and saying he’d always be by her side — a promise he fulfilled to the day his life was cut short.
Alex Vienkowski, who was fraternity brothers with Friedland at Syracuse University, described him as “a light-hearted, funny guy. He kind of just lit up the room when he was in there. He was always happy.”
“This is tragic,” added family friend Danny Goldberg. “You can’t even begin to describe the kind of senseless thing this is.”
“A tragic occurrence,” said Greg Mass, another family friend. “We’re all deeply saddened by having to be here today.”
Friedland and his wife were leaving The Mall at Short Hills Sunday night 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 said Friedland struggled with the suspects, possibly to protect his wife who was already inside their vehicle, CBS 2′s Don Champion reported.
Friedland was shot in the head. His wife was not hurt.
The trail of the killers isn’t cold, sources told CBS 2.
Surveillance cameras captured the scene after the shooting, sources said. 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.
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. The vehicle’s rear windshield was shattered.
The reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case is now up to $41,000.
“I hope they catch them,” Vienkowski said. “I hope some justice is done.”
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.
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.
He went to work for a patent law firm in Westfield after graduating from law school at Syracuse University.
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