Published December 21, 2013
SHORT HILLS, N.J. – Four men have been arrested and charged in the death of a man shot in front of his wife during a carjacking outside an upscale mall in northern New Jersey last weekend, authorities say.
The suspects, identified as Hanif Thompson, 29, Karif Ford, 31, Basim Henry 32, and Kevin Roberts, 33, appear to have been motivated by a desire for the victim's silver Range Rover, Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said in a press conference Saturday.
The victim, 30-year-old Dustin Friedland, was shot in the head Dec.15 in front of his wife in the parking garage of The Mall at Short Hills. Authorities found the Range Rover, which two of the suspects drove off in, the next morning in Newark, about 10 miles from Short Hills.
The four men have been charged with murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. Police say the arrests began around 9 p.m. Friday night and continued into the early morning hours Saturday. Three of the suspects were arrested at residences in New Jersey, a fourth was found at a hotel in Pennsylvania. They are being held on $2 million bail each.
Authorities say they have not recovered the murder weapon.
Friedland and his wife, Jamie Schare Friedland, 27, were carrying bags full of items and looked as if "they were trying to get all their Christmas shopping done in one night," a source at the mall told The New York Post.
Friedland, a lawyer, had opened the door for his wife moments before being confronted by the carjackers.
On Wednesday, mourners at Friedland's funeral heard his wife, his younger siblings and others recall him as man of integrity, a person whose ethics and values were never muddled. They joked about his warmth, his fondness for food, family and friends and his chivalry.
A local anti-crime organization, the mall, and anonymous donors offered a $41,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.
Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the Essex County prosecutor's office told FoxNews.com earlier this week that 450 carjackings have occurred this year in Essex County, up from 422 in 2012. In 2011, 277 carjackings were reported in the county, which includes crime-ridden Newark, once dubbed the "car theft capital of the world."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.