Dustin Friedland had only been a member of the Hoboken Harriers running club for a short time. But members of the club reacted to his tragic death last weekend in a series of Facebook posts this week, recalling Friedland as a kind and fun-loving man who enjoyed being outdoors and going on a good run.
“It’s so upsetting,” wrote Joe DeFlora. “He and I ran together six or seven times and he was such a nice guy.”
Another member, Bob Smyth, recalled Friedland’s first run with the club.
“I remember his first night on the Monday run. We ran together,” he said. “I’m having a hard time believing this.”
Friedland’s death was felt throughout Hoboken, his adopted community. City Council President Peter Cunningham asked for a moment of silence at a public meeting on Wednesday night out of respect for Friedland’s family. Flowers were placed by residents on the front steps of the Park Avenue apartment building where he lived with his wife, Jamie Schare Friedland.
As of press time on Friday, the search was ongoing for the two men who killed Friedman last Sunday night in a carjacking in a parking garage at the Short Hills Mall in Millburn. According to reports, the two men (who were caught on camera entering the parking garage) approached the Friedlands as they returned from an evening of holiday shopping. Jamie had already gotten into the silver Range Rover. According to reports, Dustin Friedland did not want to give the carjackers the keys. Two shots were fired.
“I was lucky to be with him for his forever.” – Jamie Schare Friedland
Friedland was pronounced dead at Morristown Medical Center shortly before midnight, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s office, which is handling the case.
The car was found abandoned behind a house in Newark the next morning.
The prosecutor has released minimal information about the search, although FOX News has reported that police are searching for two African-American men in their twenties.
Observers have been curious as to why a more detailed description has not been released. A media representative for the prosecutor’s office declined to comment on that issue when asked on Thursday.
Funeral held on Wednesday
Friedland’s family and friends attended his funeral at the Beth Am Shalom Congregation in Lakewood on Wednesday. The proceedings were filled to capacity with those who knew Friedland in his native Toms River and from his job in Neptune, according to the Associated Press.
Jamie Schare Friedland, in a eulogy, described her husband as a loving and generous man who was quick to lend a hand and always in a good mood.
“He wasn’t here [with us] long enough, but he did so much while he was,” she said. “I was lucky to be with him for his forever.”
Law enforcement agencies have urged anyone with information on Friedland’s death to call the prosecutor’s office at (877) 847-7432. The prosecutor has offered a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction, while the Short Hills Mall has added $40,000.
Dean DeChiaro may be reached at email@example.com