NJ state police

Gun Battle in New Jersey Ends With Six Deaths, Including Police Officer

The shooting in Jersey City lasted for over an hour and ended with a firefight between the suspects and several police officers.

A police officer, three civilians and two suspects were fatally shot on Tuesday in Jersey City, N.J., a tragedy that culminated in a standoff between police and the suspects. At least four others were injured during the shooting, which lasted over an hour.

The officer, identified as Det. Joseph Seals, was shot at the Bay View Cemetery by two suspects who fled to a nearby Jewish supermarket, according to ABC News. Police officials said he was likely investigating a murder associated with the U-Haul truck that the two suspects were driving.

The pair then fled in a van to the kosher deli, often frequented by the local Orthodox Jewish community. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said on Wednesday that a review of security camera footage revealed that the suspects "targeted the Kosher grocery location." The footage showed the suspects "deliberately bypass" other people on the street and aiming directly for people inside the deli, according to NBC New York.

"We now know this did not begin with gunfire between police officers and perpetrators and then move to the store," James Shea, Jersey City's public safety director, said. "It began with an attack on the civilians inside the store."

One of the assailants had published anti-Semitic and anti-police posts online, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Investigators now believe that the attack on the deli was motivated by those beliefs, particularly after investigators found a manifesto in the suspects' stolen van.

Fulop told the media on Tuesday that at least three other officers were also shot, including one who was shot in the shoulder and is being treated. The other two officers are being treated for shrapnel injuries. Three civilians inside the supermarket, two customers and a cashier, were killed and one other civilian was injured, according to city officials.

  

 

The shooting took place near Sacred Heart School, a Catholic elementary, where staff locked the building down. Later, 12 of the city’s public schools were locked down, according to Jersey City Public Schools Superintendent Frank Walker. “All students and staff are safe,” the school district posted on Facebook.

Walker said the gunfire started around 12:30 p.m. The entire incident lasted for over an hour, as helicopters circled the neighborhood and officers knocked on doors and ushered people in the area to safety, The New York Times reported.

Gov. Phil Murphy said he had been briefed on the situation and that his thoughts and prayers were with the officers responding to the incident as well as the residents and schoolchildren undergoing the lockdown.

“I have every confidence in our law enforcement professionals to ensure the safety of the community and resolve this situation,” Murphy wrote in a tweet. “Today reminds us of their bravery and the sacrifices they, and their families, make for our communities.”

 

This article has been updated to reflect new information released by police officials, including the targeting of the Jewish supermarket by the suspects. 

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