Mayor says gunmen targeted kosher supermarket in Jersey City

  • JTAChabadRabbis
(JTA) The gunmen who entered a Jersey City kosher supermarket and engaged in a deadly shootout with police deliberately chose the store, the city’s mayor said.
by MARCY OSTER | Dec 12, 2019

“Based on our initial investigation [which is ongoing] we now believe the active shooters targeted the location they attacked,” Steven Fulop said on Twitter on Tuesday night. “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.”

The mayor’s tweet came hours after a news conference at which officials said there was “no indication of terrorism” or a hate crime.

Six people were killed, including a police officer and three civilians, in gunfire on Tuesday afternoon that ended with an hours-long shootout at the JC Kosher Supermarket. The officer had been shot earlier at a nearby cemetery trying to head off two suspects in a homicide. Those two young gunmen were killed in the supermarket shootout.

On Wednesday morning in a new tweet, Fulop said, “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.

“I’m Jewish and proud to live in a community like #JerseyCity that has always welcomed everyone. It is the home of #EllisIsland, and has always been the golden door to America. Hate and anti-Semitism have never had a place here in JC, and will never have a place in our city,” Fulop said.

According to a report in the New York Times on Wednesday evening, one of the suspects involved in the firefight had published anti-Semitic and anti-police posts online prior to the incident. The report confirmed that investigators believed that the attack was motivated by those sentiments.

The dead police officer was identified as Joseph Seals, a married father of five.

Two of the killed civilians were identified by Chabad.org as Leah Minda Ferencz, 33, who owned the store in the Greenville neighbourhood with her husband, Moshe, and Moshe Deutsch, 24.

Moshe Ferencz had left the store moments before the shooting to pray the afternoon mincha service at the synagogue located next door, according to the report.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced late on Tuesday that the New York Police Department (NYPD) would go on high alert following the incident across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

“Although there is no credible or specific threat directed against New York City, I have directed the NYPD to assume a state of high alert. Tonight, NYPD assets are being redeployed to protect key locations in the Jewish community,” he tweeted.

“History teaches us how dangerous it is to ignore this kind of hateful pattern. We must stop anti-Semitism aggressively and decisively, and I call upon all New Yorkers to join in rooting out this threat.”

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