LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A man fatally shot during a carjacking at an upscale New Jersey mall was full of integrity and chivalry, insisting on carrying packages and heavy things for others, mourners recalled at his funeral Wednesday — noting that his final act was to open the car door for his wife.
She told those mourning 30-year-old Dustin Friedland that she could not have asked for a better and more loving husband.
When the couple had a pre-wedding meeting with the rabbi who would marry them, the rabbi told them that once wed, they would become "one person," said Jamie Schare Friedland. Her husband took that view to heart, often reminding her that "we are one person" and that he would always be by her side.
"He wasn't here (with us) long enough, but he did so much while he was," she said while fighting tears and tightly gripping the lectern. "I was lucky to be with him for his forever."
Friedland was shot in the head Sunday night in front of his wife in the parking garage of The Mall at Short Hills, about 10 miles west of Newark, after being confronted by two carjackers. His car, a Range Rover, was discovered the next morning in Newark. A reward of more than $40,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the killers.
Many in the standing-room-only crowd wept during the 90-minute service at Beth Am Shalom synagogue, which is near the New Jersey shore community where Friedland grew up. He went on to get a law degree and went to work as a project manager for his family's heating and air conditioning business while living in Hoboken, a city on the Hudson River that is popular with young professionals.
The mourners heard Friedland's 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.
He opened the car door for his wife, they said, just moments before the carjackers confronted him.