Sarah Gonzalez, Reporter, WNYC/NJPR
Sarah Gonzalez is the northern New Jersey enterprise reporter for WNYC and NJPR.
The death of Dustin Friedland, shot and killed in Short Hills, N.J., is the latest of 400 carjackings in Essex County so far this year.
Carjackings in the county have been going up every year since 2009, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Most take place in Newark, where Friedland’s Range Rover was located this morning in the South Ward.
On Sunday night, the 30-year-old Hoboken resident returned to his Range Rover in the parking deck of the Short Hills Mall at approximately 9 p.m. after Christmas shopping with his wife, Jamie. He had just opened the passenger door for her when two men approached and fired two shots, hitting Friedland in the head. He was taken to Morristown Medical Center and was pronounced dead close to midnight. His wife was not injured.
The Star-Ledger is reporting Friedland struggled with the assailants before he was shot.
The car was found in Newark but the two suspects are still at large.
In August, the Prosecutor’s Office launched a campaign emphasizing the penalties for carjacking, targeting young adults believed to be more prone to engaging in the crime. The focus of the campaign was in Newark, Irvington and East Orange.