JERSEY CITY, N.J. – A police officer and the owner of a kosher bodega were among six people killed in the hourslong shooting rampage that brought pain and sorrow to this city across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan.
The dead included both suspects, police said. The bodies of three of their victims were also found at the market – the supermarket owner, a bodega employee and a shopper. Two other police officers were wounded.
All the victims were struck by rounds thought to have been fired by the suspects, police said. They were inside a kosher bodega in a section of the city that has become a gathering place for about 100 Orthodox Jewish families.
Jersey City shooting rampage: Suspects targeted kosher supermarket
Here’s what we know.
Who are the victims?
Police Chief Michael Kelly said late Tuesday the shooters apparently killed Officer Joseph Seals at a cemetery before driving to the bodega. Police declined to identify the other victims.
However, Chabad Rabbi Moshe Schapiro said Leah Minda Ferencz, 33, and her cousin Moshe Hirsch Deutsh, 24, both members of the local Orthodox community, were among the dead. Schapiro said Ferencz and her husband owned the bodega.
Williams Machazek, the pastor of Iglesia Nueva Vida in Newark, identified the third victim as Miguel Jason Rodriguez, a congregant at his church who emigrated from Ecuador three years ago. Rodriguez has a wife and 11-year-old daughter and had been working at the bodega for about a year, Machazek said.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said two of the victims were borough natives.
Jersey City suspects identified
Authorities declined to reveal the names of the suspects. However, a law enforcement source told the Bergen Record, part of the USA TODAY Network, the shooters were David Anderson and Francine Graham.
What happened at the bodega?
Public Safety Director James Shea says two suspects pulled up outside the bodega in a stolen van. They exited the van with long guns and began firing.
“This did not begin with a gunfight between police officers and the perpetrators,” Shea said Wednesday. “It began with an attack on the civilians in the store.”
The suspects fled into the store when nearby officers responded. About two hours later, officers found the bodies of the suspects and the bystanders in the bodega, Shea said.
Have police identified a motive?
Shea and Mayor Steven Fulop declined to characterize the attack as an anti-Semitic hate crime. However, multiple media outlets including The New York Times reported that one of the suspects had published anti-Semitic posts on social media.
Fulop did say the kosher bodega had been targeted.
“Last night after extensive review of our CCTV system it has now become clear from the cameras that these two individuals targeted the Kosher grocery location” on Martin Luther King Drive, Fulop tweeted.
Who was Officer Joseph Seals?
The lone police officer killed was 40-year-old Seals, a 13-year veteran of the Jersey City Police Department who was promoted to detective two years ago.
Seals, a married father of five, joined the city police in 2006. He was promoted to detective in November 2017 and belonged to the department’s Cease Fire Unit. Seals was well known among police for his work taking guns off the street, Fulop said.
“He was a good cop,” Fulp said of Seals. “I’m sure his children expected him to return home.”
Bacon reported from McLean, Virginia. Contributing: Kristie Cattafi, Terrence T. McDonald and James M. O’Neill, NorthJersey.com
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