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UPDATE: Toms River Native, TR North Grad Meets Sad End In Short Hills Carjacking

Dustin Friedland, 30, was shot and killed in parking garage, his SUV was recovered Monday in Newark.

Dustin and Jamie Friedland (Facebook photo)
Dustin and Jamie Friedland (Facebook photo)
The Toms River native shot and killed during a carjacking outside The Mall at Short Hills Sunday night was a Hoboken attorney who was athletic and "made life better for everyone around him." 

Dustin Friedland, 30, was shot in the head when he and his wife returned to their SUV shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

Friedland was pronounced dead at 11:45 p.m. Sunday at Morristown Medical Center. His wife was not injured but also transported to the hospital, the prosecutor's office said.

His Facebook page said he was a graduate of Toms River North High School and a 2006 graduate of Bucknell University.

Nick Malfitano, a Patch writer who was Friedland's classmate at Toms River North, said Friedland was "a good man and a great classmate of mine at Toms River North who made life better for everyone around him."

He said he was "intelligent, funny and always ready with a smile and a laugh."

Edward Keller, principal of Toms River North, was not principal when Friedland attended, but he noted he was an avid swimmer and rower.

"We’re all, of course, shocked and saddened by what happened," he said. "When we found out it was one of our alumni, it really hit home.

He said people speak highly of him, and say he was "a great kid, the kind of kid who really went with the flow."

The Asbury Park Press reported that in 1999, Friedland was named Eagle Scout for Troop 29 in Toms River and in 2002, the 19-year-old Friedland posed as George Washington for an America’s Day celebration at the Pine Beach Elementary School.

He competed in the N.J. Rowing Championship in 2001, and as a swimmer, placed third in the Toms River North-Brick Memorial 500-yard freestyle meet in 2000, according to Press files, as reported Monday.

More recently, Friedland had been a member of the Hoboken Harriers Running Club. Running club members expressed shock and offered their condolences Monday on the group's Facebook page.

"He was such a nice guy," HOHA member Joe DeFlora wrote. "He and his wife were only married a short time. She must be devastated."

Friedland, a 2009 grad of Syracuse Law School, was a project manager/estimator at Neptune-based Epic Mechanical Inc., according to his LinkedIn profile.

The shooting briefly placed the mall on lockdown as a precaution, according to ABC News. The lockdown was lifted at approximately 10 p.m. Sunday when officials determined the shooting was an isolated incident and not a shooting inside the mall.

Access to the parking garage's fifth level was blocked off Monday. A guest services representative would not say whether security was increased since the shooting, but said the mall "has excellent security out there everyday, as well as members of the Millburn police department."

Michael J. McAvinue, the mall's general manager, said they wouldconsider reviewing their procedures in the aftermath of the shooting, according to NJ.com.

Some shoppers said Monday the incident isn't going to stop them from returning to the mall.

One woman, who declined to be identified, said she and her husband shop the mall a few times a week.

"It's a great place," she said.

She said Sunday night's incident could have happened anywhere and added, "if anything, I feel safer today than any other time I have been here because of all the security here today."

The shooting outside The Mall at Short Hills comes just more than a month after a black-clad man armed with a .22 caliber rifle opened fire in the Garden State Plaza in Paramus.

The chaotic scene there forced officials to swarm en masse to the locked-down shopping plaza in an effort to hunt down 20-year-old Richard Shoop, of Teaneck.

Shoop did not appear intent on injuring anyone during his slow-paced walk among frenzied mall shoppers, according to Bergen County officials, who said he fired several rounds into the air before taking his own life inside a mall store.

Sunday's fatal carjacking may be related to a car-theft ring that has recently struck the tri-state area, The New York Post reportedMonday.

The gunmen didn’t target Friedland specifically, an unnamed source told The Post. More than likely they were simply after his $65,000 Range Rover, he said.

In July, a couple in a high-end Maserati was carjacked at gunpoint on Watchung Avenue in Chatham, approximately 2 miles from The Mall at Short Hills.

A number of carjackings have occurred in recent memory at the mall, including one in 2009, one in 2006, and another in 2002, according to NJ.com.

The Essex County Crime Stopper's Program is offering a $10,000 reward for any information on Sunday night's killing, according to the prosecutor's office. No arrests have been made.

If anyone has any information or tips on Sunday night's incident, call the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force line at 1-877-847-7432.

Joseph Gerace, Dan Nee and Zak Koeske contributed to this story.
grace December 17, 2013 at 01:16 PM
@just mark isnt it a shame just ask our friend @suz or mary nary
Joey Joe December 17, 2013 at 09:42 PM
I guess now that at least the "race" of the scum who killed the young man in the Short Hills Mall parking deck is known-- see link below: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_jersey&id=9361705 I'll now write Mr. or Rev. Al Sharpton (if I can find his address or email address online) and ask why he has not publicly commented on this "hate crime" -- I'm sure I'll hear exactly what is between his ears... NOTHING ! But I'll make sure to remind him that he was all over the Travon / Zimmerman thing in Florida, but as of this moment have not heard a peep out of him re: the Short Hills Mall Murder. Personally I think the murder was a "thrill killing" and served the purpose of getting the perps back home to Newark. I'm betting the Range Rover they stole was probably a $80K vehicle but yet they chose to park it in back of some boarded up house in a crime ridden neighborhood in Newark... Did they take it to a "Chop Shop" for parts $$$? NO, did they move it under cover for shipment out of the country for $$$? No, they killed for the "thrill of it" and then drove the victims vehicle back to their bullet invested dump. After all it was cheaper than the bus. For those of you who may not know - Short Hills Mall is only 20 min from Newark despite the fact that the Mall is located in a VERY wealthy area. The mall is home to "high end" stores and has as its anchor stores Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Tiffany's is also in this mall. Trust me, you won't find WalMart, or Kohl's, or anything close to a Dollar Store or a PayLess shoe store. But NONE of that Matters... if anyone thinks that their safety is guaranteed ANYWHERE is just in the middle of a pure illusion..
JustMark December 18, 2013 at 09:27 AM
Thanks Patch for deleting my comment as well as other viable and worthy comments because we are not PC. When the Lakewood & South TR Zombies walk the streets looking for their freebies what will you have to say then?
grace December 18, 2013 at 09:44 AM
Agreed @ joey on many of your points..and wouldnt it be fun if we all copied your letter and forwarded it to mr sharpton...
NMMan December 18, 2013 at 09:46 AM
I went to high school with Dustin and one would be hard-pressed to find a better human being. An accomplished student and athlete who was always upbeat, and made the lives of the people around him better with his contagious smile and sense of humor. He was totally selfless and a friend to everyone. My deepest condolences go to his wife, family and friends at this most difficult of times.
JustMark December 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM
To all posters!Maruca, Grace, Michaeal and others I need to mention now! Let us start block watches ! Let us start call in to police dispatch; I'm sure Chief Propota would not mind. Let us take back this Township B4 this comes here! The pastor at the Methodist church has been very helpful in the past. Please get involved in rememberance of Mr. Friedland, his Widow and the countless others that will follow.Feel free to contact me.
grace December 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM
this is truly a very sad day for his family and friends and all over our state..they will be caught i deeply believe that and then justice will prevail..i am not a cruel person but i am fed up.. time to bring back the death penalty
JustMark December 18, 2013 at 10:37 AM
@ Grace let us all Gather. Start a blog, Please .
Joey Joe December 18, 2013 at 11:21 AM
@Grace - I really don't think the death penalty is the answer. At least not to those who just will kill a person for the sake of creating for themselves the illusion that they are king of the jungle. I believe there are those that are so jealous to see others who have more material things OR happiness in general. What they fail to see is the work and law abiding effort that was involved in attaining those things. I also think that this jealousy turns into a rage that fortifies their need to take on the attitude - "if I can't have it, you can't either," and they are simply thrilled to take it away from people who do. Obviously they have no respect for any law that may exist or even just the sense of decency. I think one thing that has perpetuated this way of thinking was the construction of "the projects" in places like Newark. You just can't put that many poor people in one place, and under one roof without them joining forces and creating all kinds of havoc. Creating havoc and being a loser is a lot easier than getting an education and a job and a work ethic. People like this have learned that somebody will take care of them - be it through public assistance give away programs OR by them just taking it as it if were their own. If they have to die because of their jealousy it is just another day in the life...
grace December 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM
entitlement comes to mind @ joey
suz December 18, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Dustin's wife's Uncle had said that he wants to see these guys dead...I do , as well. I am so tired of being political correct when I hear of crimes committed by people of color on good, successful middle class white people! The mentality of taking what is not mine has got to end for these thugs. Sorry, but my feeling is since we have a black president is that some feel empowered and entitled. We, as a white people, are being racial profiled, but not one response from the, so called leaders, who are always front and center when a crime is committed by a white person to a person of color. Yes, Grace...WE should all protest and sent our comments to to Sharpton.
grace December 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Hi ya @ suz i agree with you often when it comes to the race card,,when can i get a card?...as ive mentioned before no one has come out and said Dustin could have been my son...sad and tired my friend suz!
suz December 18, 2013 at 12:30 PM
We (white, hard working people with morals) are the ones being racial profiled for our success in life...sad but true. This has got to stop unless we will have another all out racial war in this country. Obama has got to go.
proud December 18, 2013 at 07:11 PM
@suz, I would hardly call you politically correct.
barbara December 18, 2013 at 08:19 PM
I don't comment very often, but so agree with Just Mark, Suz and Grace. Where is Sharpton? How come no press release from our wonderful so called president? His poor family and wife, this is so unbearable, I did not know him, but breaks my heart. Tired of this crap. Think a protest is in order.....or at least a petition or something to Mr. Sharpton and our wonderful president. Makes me frigging sick to my stomach.
proud December 18, 2013 at 08:54 PM
@barbara, I am going to have to infer from your comments that you don't really feel that the POTUS and the BLOTUS are wonderful.
ed mays December 18, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Good lord, people...do you really think Racist Sharpton gives a damn about your protests?
barbara December 18, 2013 at 09:08 PM
@proud - huh? just sick of it......plain and simple....
proud December 18, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Oh, I understand @barbara. Then, there's the other fifty shades of gray.
JustMark December 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM
let us walk. I will be there . Please be in thid!`
E. L. E. December 21, 2013 at 11:40 AM
As long as black on white murder is tolerated while there are Marches in the Streets when a white kills a black. Blacks kill white after white all over this Country and there is no outcry barely a mention at 5:00 and if you do say something you are automatically labeled a racist, there are no Marches even for the most vile of murders where I live in Florida 2- 17 year olds raped and murdered a 93 year old white woman and absolutely no outcry barely a mention in the news papers, why?. Yet when Treyvon was shot before the investigation was over and then when THE WHITE HOUSE did not like the outcome special investigators come to make sure based on his name George Zimmerman The white man was properly punished. The Smithsonian wants Trayvon's Hoodie for what ? I feel bad for the death but he was there to break into houses and cars he was doing that at his mothers which is why he was sent to his father but that was withheld from they jury why? a huge monetary settlement before trial even starts, how much money will go to Jamie Friedland, I wonder what artifact of clothing the Smithsonian will want on display from this poor man Dustin's cloths he died in, I wonder will Sharpton & the other race baiters and Jackson will they March on D.C. and 117 other cities for this white man. Will anyone say or do anything in NJ for this man? I doubt it after all he was white and he has to pay for the way blacks are and have been mistreated in this Country
ed mays December 21, 2013 at 12:09 PM
E.L.E.....my thoughts exactly. And good blacks wonder why we avoid them when we see them coming. It`s time for decent blacks to stand up against all violence because it sure doesn`t look like we will.
proud December 21, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Will the hoodie be on display in the Smithsonian anywhere near the Monica Lewinsky dress?
Joey Joe December 21, 2013 at 06:16 PM
I hope they put the hoodie in the bathroom...right next to the toilet paper... NEVER have I heard something as stupid as this hoodie in the Smithsonian thing... Hopefully somebody is just joking !!!
grace December 21, 2013 at 06:32 PM
animals! i agree we working class people of all races and colors should rise up against this behavior here in america! death penalty..boycotts..alot of letter writing...maybe a placard of some sort for us to put on our cars..idk but i am tired and scared for our future..
grace December 21, 2013 at 06:33 PM
and maybe the placard could read " dustin could have been my son "
Joey Joe December 21, 2013 at 07:34 PM
@grace - the very sad thing is Dustin is someones Son... I don't know how the family is holding it together. If Dustin was my Son I wouldn't be able to even get out of bed. A parent should never have to bury their kid(s). I think Dustin's Uncle said it best when he said "I want them dead." I think we all do... I go to Newark a lot, which is where the savages who perpetrated Dustin's murder are from . I was born & raised in the Ironbound section back in the 50's & 60's and still go to the restaurants in my old stomping grounds up there. The Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian food is great, as are the people. Well, I'll tell ya what, the next time I go, I'll be packin - even thou the Ironbound Section (AKA Down Neck) is one of the neighborhoods that has remained "savage free." I feel bad for the good black people - they always get lumped in with the animals that commit the murders...purely because they are the same color. Unfair yes...and trust me they are scared too. They are afraid to speak up, because they know that a savage will eat it's own.
barbara December 21, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Agree Joey Joe, also a "down necker" here too, Malvern Street, Five corners,....haven't been back there in many years, but have big family from there, always was a great place....feel so bad for this family, so bad....
grace December 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM
@joey my brother in law goes there all the time to get portugese food and other meats and breads he loves...so it isnt all of newark..
Joey Joe December 22, 2013 at 05:15 PM
@grace - I know it's not all of Newark... believe me I know that the Ironbound section is probably one of the safest up there.. But just this past week a Mom and her adult son were coming back from a supermarket. She and her son were both punched out and her wallet went bye bye... So the animals are invading my old neighborhood... but I'm betting that the "Down Neckers" will fix that situation real soon IF "down neck" is anything like it was when I grew up there.

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