Short Hills Mall Shooting Tragedy

    December 17, 2013
    Elisha Reed Bowman
    Comments are off for this post.

For a young New Jersey couple, owning an expensive vehicle cost them more than a pricey car payment. It cost one of them their life.

Dustin Friedland, a 30-year-old lawyer from Hoboken, was walking with his wife to their SUV after a Sunday of holiday shopping at The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey. The couple was accosted by two suspects who were allegedly attempting to carjack the 2012 Range Rover. The carjacking turned fatal when bullets were fired and Friedland was found shot in the head – likely trying to protect his wife from the shooters. She was not injured, while her husband was later pronounced dead at a local hospital in Morristown.

The silver SUV was found later in Newark with the only sign of its horrific involvement being a shattered rear window.

The Crime Stoppers program in Essex County is offering a $10,000 reward for any information pertaining to the carjacking that leads to an arrest and conviction of the alleged gunmen.


With this frightening tragedy coming less than two months after the shooting rampage that left gunman Richard Shoop dead in nearby Garden State Plaza, one has to wonder if they should avoid all New Jersey malls. Or is it that these malls are convenient large gatherings of people, as well as prime picking for those targeting the wealthy.

In a world of senseless violence and constant crime sprees, is it safe to set foot out of your own front door? Fate has a twisted sense of humor when the fast-fading chivalrous gesture of a man opening a car door for his wife ultimately ends with him being fatally shot.

That’s one car payment with a price too steep for anyone to pay.

Image via Facebook/Jamie Schare Friedland

  • Do Us A Favor

    I hate to tell people but this is what happens when the gap between the halves and halve nots increases. We are becoming a two class system. The rich are building up the police to protect themselves from the poor — you see it everyday. All the poor go to prison and the rich don’t. Heck, there was even an article on this website two days ago about a rich kid avoiding prison after killing 4 people. His defense was literally — he didn’t understand what he was doing because he was so privileged. The mall they went to is literally one of the most upscale malls in the country.

    I find it ironic that so many people are outraged over the shooting and at the same time, the very same people will not want to raise the minimum wage to help people out in society and heck, don’t even talk to people about giving people health care. Ladies and gentleman. We are all at fault —- myself included. Our greed and selfishness will come back to bite us in the ass all the time. When people don’t have anything — literally don’t have anything — they will do anything to survive and that means killing and robbing.

    I don’t know this guy. For all I know he could be great and for all I know he could have screwed a hundred people in court and that is how he is able to own a range rover. Just because he opens a door for his wife — this does not make him a saint. I know tons of really dirty people that are polite to women and open doors. Yet, we always assume those with things are good. We give them the benefit of the doubt. The wealthy person is good and the homeless bum must have deserved what he got.

    It is like the author of this article — she doesn’t know this guy. Yet, her writing is so slanted and it is solely based on the notion he opened the door for his wife. She even jumped to the conclusion that he was “likely” protecting his wife. That isn’t journalism or facts. It is just wishful thinking. Like I said, this guy could have been an unscrupulous lawyer. Most lawyers that have money — usually are. All the lawyers I know that are good and do the right thing —- are freaking broke because they don’t sell out.

    Be good to people. Be merciful. Be kind. Be selfless. Help raise up all people in society. Otherwise, all you will be doing is increasing the number of people out there that might just want to rob you.

    That is life.

    • Wow

      We have no idea if the perps were homeless – they were likely in a gang, boosting cars for mobsters to ship overseas, or doing the dirty work of someone the lawyer wronged. Either way, inner city thugs created and perpetuate their own stereotypes. As a petite, white female, I’m always aware of my surroundings, and on high alert when in parking garages and see suspicious-looking men, AKA dark-skinned men. THAT is life. THAT is the reality we live in. I didn’t tell their idiot parents to conceive them and “raise” them in an environment that promotes gang membership and “respect” begotten through violence. These stains on society need to be scrubbed clean, not understood.

      • Helen

        Wow is right! I grew up 5 mins from that Mall and obviously 20 mins from where the car was found abandoned. I’ve parked my car, albeit NOT luxury in the exact spot where the Friedlands were parked on many occasions. You cannot assume that these thugs were homeless, more than likely they chose this path in life and maybe if they pulled their pants up, worked hard in school…worked hard in general they would own a car like this decent hardworking man did and not have to take what is not rightly theirs. I don’t fault anyone for owning the expensive type of car I can’t afford!! There are many many opportunities afforded poor people in NJ we pay astronomical taxes, etc to give them a hand up so I’m really tired of hearing how we should be upset and wring our hands bc we’ve “made it”. Dustin was a patent attorney, not some greasy Johnny Cochran getting murderers (like the carjackers) off. Your comments are ridiculous and take the responsibility off the shoulders of the thugs and put them onto an innocent, hardworking, decent man! Wow!

  • Jill

    Those robbers killed an innocent man – he was never convicted of a crime. As a woman who grew up very poor, I never saw robbery as a solution. There are plenty of other opportunities to get of poverty besides killing and robbery.

  • Jan

    My parents grew up poor skipping meals for lack of money
    Didn’t choose to kill and rob
    What perpetuates this is the new realities
    A phila starbux manager killed in cc phila lunchtime a few yrs ago by five
    teenage rappers
    One out of prison already
    The rest light sentences
    Decent ppl sick of ppl making excuses for the criminal thug element

  • Stop blaming people of color

    I love the fact that everyone equates being poor, being in a gang and other criminal behavior with being black. However if you’re a white male that robs someone’s life savings, you’re not a criminal. If a white male (actor) who overdoses he isn’t a Junkie he just struggled with addiction. Or how about a white male shoots an unarmed black man it’s in self defense, not racists anti-semetic behavior. I don’t think the word Black or Dark skinned should be involved in this. They are criminals along with everybody else black, white, Chinese, Japanese Indian, light skin dark skin CRIMINALS. Hell I have seen more dark skinned white males at the Jersey shore acting like idiots, then I have at any one of my functions. Let’s stop blaming it on black people please get it together. With that said this is tragic and I feel for they’re family no one should have to go through this.