Man killed during carjacking at NJ mall was protecting wife; suspects still at large
(CNN) — It was an upscale, expensive vehicle — a 2012 silver Range Rover — sitting unoccupied in a parking deck at an upscale, expensive New Jersey mall crowded with Sunday holiday shoppers.
Police say the luxury SUV’s owners — a 30-year-old Hoboken attorney and his wife — returned to it after shopping, walking straight into an apparent carjack attempt.
A few seconds and a few bullets later, the young attorney lay shot in the head and dying in a shopping mall parking lot, his shocked and stunned wife likely in a panic nearby as two suspects sped from the scene in the Range Rover.
On Monday, New Jersey’s legal community, friends and family were mourning the death of Dustin Friedland, who, police said, had performed one last act for his wife before the couple was accosted.
He had opened the car door for her.
And on Monday, police found that 2012 silver Range Rover parked in Newark, apparently with no obvious signs of what had happened to the two carjackers who became killers in a matter of seconds Sunday night in the parking deck of The Mall at Short Hills.
According to authorities, Friedland apparently was walking behind the vehicle after opening his wife’s door and helping her get in, when he was confronted. There was a struggle, authorities believe, and shots were fired. Friedland’s wife heard the struggle and had gotten out of the SUV when the two attackers got in and drove off. She was not injured.
Friedland was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital in Morristown.
A manhunt for the suspects was launched, with authorities fanning out from the mall with its 150-store roster of retailers including Cartier, Prada, Gucci and Dior in addition to Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus.
The Essex County, New Jersey, Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers program announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects. Police described the two still-at-large suspects as being armed and dangerous, but beyond that, few details of the investigation were released.
Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly would not confirm how many shots were fired during the seconds of the struggle behind the SUV, pending autopsy results.