Published: Thu, December 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Jersey City Gunmen Targeted Jewish Grocery for Lethal Attack, Mayor Says

Jersey City Gunmen Targeted Jewish Grocery for Lethal Attack, Mayor Says

Two people who opened fire in Jersey City Tuesday afternoon, killing a police officer and three innocent bystanders before being fatally shot in a prolonged standoff with authorities, have been identified.

Five people - three members of the local Jewish community and two suspected assailants - were pronounced dead inside the JC Kosher Supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive and a police detective also died in an exchange of gunfire in which hundreds of rounds were fired. The shooting began near the cemetery, where Detective Joseph Seals, a 40-year-old member of a unit devoted to taking illegal guns off the street, was killed while trying to stop "bad guys", Police Chief Michael Kelly said without elaborating.

A police bomb squad was also investigating a possible explosive found in the stolen U-Haul vehicle the gunmen drove.

"But after reviewing the [closed-circuit TV] cameras on the Jersey City side, we do feel comfortable that it was a targeted attack on the Jewish kosher deli across the street here", Fulop told reporters during a snowstorm Wednesday, gesturing at a storefront crowded with emergency personnel.

He praised the efforts of two officers who were one block away and responded immediately when they heard gun shots.

"There were many other (potential) targets available to them that they bypassed to attack that place", Jersey City Department of Public Safety Director James Shea told reporters.

Tuesday's violence began at Bayview Cemetery, when Jersey City Police Det.

Gov. Philip D. Murphy said in a statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department, especially with the officers shot during this standoff, and with the residents and schoolchildren now under lockdown". Instead, Shea said, "It began with an attack on the civilians inside the store" after the suspected parked and exited a "van with long guns in their hands".

The suspects were killed, authorities said.

The Hudson County View reported the threat was posted to Snapchat by "Dede X" and said that "The way they was shooting today is the same way how imma shoot Bayonne high up". The released at 4:45 parents.

A Jersey City police officer reacts at the scene of a shooting that left multiple people dead on Tuesday in New Jersey.

Fulop noted on Twitter Wednesday he is "Jewish and proud to live in a community like #JerseyCity that has always welcomed everyone". Jersey City is part of the NY metropolitan area.

Prior to the suspects' identities being revealed, law enforcement seemed to be following the standard blueprint whenever there is a mass shooting suspect who is not a person of color.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that while there was no known specific threat to that city, he had placed city police on high alert to protect Jewish residents. Tonight, NYPD assets are being redeployed to protect key locations in the Jewish community. They were both treated and released.

Deborah Lauter, who was appointed in September to head the new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, said her office would convene the "first ever interagency committee" to bring together the various agencies working on hate crimes to figure out "how do we address this long term and holistically".

Jersey City Public Schools will have a delayed start on Wednesday in the wake of the shooting. "Keep all those involved in your thoughts".

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