Jason William Mizell better known by his stage name Jam Master Jay, was the DJ of the influential hip hop group Run–D.M.C. During the 1980s, Run-D.M.C. became one of the biggest hip-hop groups in history and are credited with breaking hip-hop into mainstream music.
On October 30, 2002, while recording new music at his studio in the Jamaica section of Queens, New York City, Mizell was shot and killed by an unknown assailant. The case has been labeled as a cold case by police who after 15 years have failed to get sufficient leads in the case- despite others reportedly being in the studio when Jay was shot. Speculation followed that Jam Master Jay was heavy in debt and may have been killed on orders from someone he owed money.