Often times when you hear about young black men being shot, it’s easy for some to not have much sympathy because they assume the person was involved in a life a crime and not doing right.
But, 21-year-old Jamal “Mally” Gaines (left) accomplished a lot in his short lifetime.. He defeated a life-altering disease, fought against loss after loss and bounced back beautifully. Yet life still dealt him a final blow..
It’s as if it was never meant for Jamal to live till old age.. Death chased this young man like Final Destination..
RAHWAY, New Jersey – Police are investigating the fatal shooting of Jamal “Mally” Gaines, the 21-year-old owner of East Coast Boutique, a sneaker store.
About 9:15 Friday night, police responded to a reported gun shot at 1546 Irving St. in Rahway. Authorities said Gaines was the victim, and although he was still alive when the police arrived, he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Mally was shot dead outside the shoe store that he put his heart and soul into.
In his short life, up Gaines had survived many challenges. According to Gaines’ Facebook page, he had had a dream to have a store of his own since childhood.
When an opportunity came to him to buy a sneaker store while he was at county college, he jumped at the chance. In retrospect, he said he would have been better off using the money to buy inventory rather than someone else’s store: he was forced to close within three months. But the dream was so strong, he went back to stacking cartons at Fed Ex, a job he’d had before buying the store, and he saved his money to buy more inventory.
Within six months, he had a new business, @eastcoastboutique, selling sneakers again.
The store was the Irving St. location where he was shot Friday night.
After opening East Coast Boutique, Gaines was in a life-threatening car accident, but he survived and made a good recovery. However, he discovered he had a condition known as keratoconus that would cause him to go blind without proper treatment.
In November 2014, his mother, Tina Wilson, created a GoFundMe.com page called Eyes Have a Dream, that would help him successfully raise the $20,000 needed for the surgeries, cross linking and transplants. After the surgery everything was great and Wilson was back to attending to his shoe store..
The shooting remains under active joint investigation. Anyone with information about the shooting should contact Homicide Task Force Sgt. Michael Manochio at 908-966-2287 or Detective Sofia Santos at 908-577-4256.
The Union County Crime Stoppers also are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case; tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-TIPS (8477), via text message by texting “UCTIP” plus a message to 274637 (CRIMES), or online at www.uctip.org.
The company posted on instagm announcing their store closure..
Our Prayers are with his family.. This young man had his whole life ahead of him..
If they give the shooter life in prison I would be most happy with that.. As the death penalty would be the easy way out..