Friday, February 1, 2013
Out for Justice: Jason Norris
Jason Norris was a rising star in the world of rap music, but one night someone ended his life in a hail of bullets. Eleven years later, as Patrick Fraser tells us, his family is still Out for Justice.
WSVN -- In 2002, Jason Norris had to feel like he was on top of the world, running his own music company called High and Mighty.
Jennice Lee, Jason's mom: "The music was very good. He had a lot of shows going on."
The 28-year-old had lots of shows and a lot to show for it.
Detective Daniel Erben, Miami Beach Police Department: "He had a beautiful home on Sunset Island. He also had really nice cars. He'd also just purchased a jet airplane. He had some serious money."
All that money, all those fancy toys, and then on a January night he pulled into what used to be an Amoco gas station on Fifth Street in Miami Beach.
Daniel Erben: "All of a sudden, an unknown black male wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt approaches the driver's side of Jason's car. His friend turns around, and next thing you know he hears multiple gunshots."
The shooter ran down Michigan Avenue. He didn't take Jason's rings, his necklace, his money. This was not a random killing.
Daniel Erben: "We have reason to believe that maybe this might have been a hit or an inside job, because Jason was becoming very successful in the rap industry."
From her home in Jamaica where we interviewed her, Jennice got a call from her other son Tony.
Jennice Lee: "Tony go and identify and he told me, he rested his head on his shoulder and said, 'Oh, my brother. Why, why?'"
Why? Eleven years later, investigators still don't have the answer. Was it an inside job? Maybe. Jason had given his bodyguard off that night. Only someone close to him would know that. And the friend who was with him, who ran away when he heard the gunshots? When detectives tried to talk to him, suddenly he had selective amnesia and couldn't remember anything, but someone knows.
Daniel Erben: "As of right now, we really don't have any leads. That's why we're asking the community. Somebody might have information that can help us."
Clearly, Jason was competing with a tough crowd, and he knew it.
Patrick Fraser: "You're a mother. What happened to Jason? Who do you think killed him?"
Jennice Lee: "He just tell me that the music industry is very terrible, so I'm telling him, 'So why don't you get out of it?' and he'd always say, 'Mom, I don't know who to trust. I can't trust anyone.'"
Killed, probably by a hit man, near a friend ran off and refuses to help police, making Detective Erben's job even tougher.
Daniel Erben: "We don't want this kind of reputation in our city or in our community, so we feel that we'd like to bring this person to justice along with the family."
And just after Jennice lost Jason, her other son Tony died of cancer. Two terrible losses: one to cancer, one to a killer.
Jennice Lee: "I'm not a vindictive person, and I think God will take care of things at His own time. The only thing I want to know is why."
Was it a murder for hire? If so, who hired? Who fired? If you have any information, give Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers a call, and if you lost a loved one and want to remind people who have forgotten, give us a call and show you are still Out for Justice.
With this Out for Justice, I'm Patrick Fraser, 7News.
If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.