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Posted at 03:14 PM ET, 12/23/2011

Mystery after rumors of D.C. man’s death over Air Jordans

The Internet is abuzz with reports that an 18-year-old District man was recently killed over the same Nike shoes that have drawn thousands to malls around the nation in the last 24 hours — and thousands have logged onto social networking services and other web sites to share reactions.

But no area police department has annouced the death of a man named Tyreek Amir Jacobs; when asked by Post reporters, police in the District, as well as Montgomery, Prince George’s and Fairfax counties, said they did not know of such a death.


(Facebook)
Meanwhile, on a Facebook page, an un-named person claiming to be his step-brother has written “RIP Tyreek,” saying he was killed Wednesday.

“So much suffering in the body,” the page read. “So much suffering emotionally. Just a lot of pain.”

The Facebook page also includes a man’s photograph — but the image’s precise history is unclear. The photograph was taken by a photographer based in England, according to two stock image companies that distribute it; it was not immediately clear when or where the photograph was taken, however.

On Twitter and Facebook, meanwhile, comments and responses — which reflected commisseration with the dead man’s family to anger, confusion and other emotions — streamed in Friday.


INDIANAPOLIS VIDEO: Police across the country reported fights, trampled shoppers and in some cities, pepper spray was used on crowds. (CBS News)
Some celebrities re-tweeted messages about Jacobs in apparent tribute. And other media have also taken up the matter. The Baltimore Sun’s Justin Fenton has written a post about it, and CNBC’s Darren Rovell tweeted about it, noting that the story has “not been confirmed.”

The Sun’s investigation, meanwhile, notes that a company selling the image has labeled it “a college student working in the laboratory”; a representative of an organization that used it more than a year ago told the newspaper he was “suspicious about the story.”

Post staff writers J. Freedom du Lac, Erica W. Morrison Matt Zapotosky and David Marino-Nachison contributed to this item.

This item has been updated.

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By Washington Post Staff  |  03:14 PM ET, 12/23/2011

Categories:  The District

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