From killing detective at cemetery to kosher store gun battle: What we know about Jersey City shooting (VIDEOS)
The bloodshed began at Bayview Cemetery around 12:30pm local time on Tuesday. Police sources told NBC New York and NJ.com that Detective Joseph Seals, who was conducting a homicide investigation, approached two people who looked suspicious. They opened fire, fatally wounding Seals.
The 40-year-old police veteran and married father of five was reportedly shot in the back of the head and later died from his injuries in the hospital.
Tonight our thoughts and prayers are with the Jersey City Police Department and the friends and families of Detective Joseph Seals and the innocent victims of today’s shooting. #JCPD@JCPoliceDeptpic.twitter.com/PPYHmKcQlq— NJSP - State Police (@NJSP) 11 декабря 2019 г.
Details of the investigation are unclear, but Seals would often work on the streets as an undercover officer, NJ.com said.
After killing Seals, the two suspects took a stolen U-Haul van and drove to JC Kosher Supermarket. Dressed in black and armed with long guns, they began shooting customers. Police squads and SWAT teams were dispatched to the scene, engaging the suspects who had barricades themselves inside the store.
The fierce gun battle raged for hours. The neighborhood turned into a warzone as barrages of gunfire could be heard in numerous videos filmed at the scene. Police put the area on the lockdown and local schools have been closed.
“I watch TV and all. This is the real deal – the Wild Wild West,” a witness told NBC New York.
“SWAT jumped back behind the truck and I knew it was the real. I don’t know what’s going on.”
After the shootout stopped at around 4pm, the SWAT teams entered the grocery store and found five bodies inside – three civilians and the two suspected gunmen. Some reports said the shooters were a man and a woman, but that has not been officially confirmed.
Two more officers and one civilian were wounded, all of whom are in stable condition, according to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
Nothing is known so far about the identity of the shooters. Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said police have “no inkling what the motive was yet.” The police are not calling this a terrorist attack.
The mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop, said the suspects “targeted the location they attacked,” stopping short of calling the attack anti-Semitic.
Based on our initial investigation (which is ongoing) we now believe the active shooters targeted the location they attacked. Due to an excess of caution the community may see additional police resources in the days/weeks ahead. We have no indication there are any further threats— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) 11 декабря 2019 г.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said “we’re devastated” by Tuesday’s tragedy.
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