The man who was sitting next to Jam Master Jay on the night of his murder has broken his silence for the first time since the October 2002 shooting. Uriel “Tony” Rincon, a friend of the iconic Run-DMC DJ, revealed to the New York Daily News that Jay was armed on the night of the shooting, but failed to defend himself because he knew his killer. According to Rincon, he received a phone call from Jay’s business partner Randy Allen at around 6:00 p.m. on the evening of October 20, 2002, and the two made arrangements to meet at Jay’s recording studio on Merrick Blvd. in Queens. Shortly after he arrived, Rincon sat down with the DJ for a game of Madden 2002 on a Sony Playstation in a room at the rear of the studio. He says that shortly thereafter, Jay produced a handgun and placed it on the couch next to him. Lydia High, Jay’s assistant, entered the room a short time later to discuss his schedule. Rincon specifically remembers her being bothered by the site of the weapon and asking the DJ to put it away. Eventually, Allen and another friend named Mike B. arrived at the studio and went into another room to go over demo tapes.
According to Rincon, they had been at the studio less than an hour when his cell phone rang. As he reached behind the couch to retrieve it, he says he heard footsteps. With his back to the door, Rincon says he heard Jay exclaim “Oh shit!” right before two shots rang out. One hit Rincon in the leg and the other hit Jay in the head, fatally wounding him. “I knew [Jay] was gone,” Rincon told the Daily News. “He wasn’t moving, nothing.” He insists that he did not see the killer’s face and would not be able to identify him. Rincon also insists that Jay must have known his killer, otherwise he would have defended himself when the man entered the room. “Had there been immediate animosity or if there was a problem, they wouldn’t have been that close,” he said. Previous reports have suggested that Jay and his murderer embraced prior to the shooting. “It had to be somebody he knew,” Rincon said. “I wish I saw…because it would be over. I told [police] everything I could tell them. I wish I could tell them more.”