Jersey city shooting was 'a targeted attack on the Jewish kosher deli'

Source: nytimes

Jersey City, N.J. - The shootings that left at least three civilians and one police officer dead Tuesday in Jersey City, N.J., was a targeted attack, according to local authorities. At a news conference Wednesday, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop explained that the pair of shooters, who were also killed, had clearly singled out the kosher market on which they opened fire.

"At the time of the incident yesterday, it was difficult to understand intent, and there's still a lot of questions around that. 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.

"We could see the van moving through Jersey City streets slowly. The perpetrator stopped in front of there, calmly opened the door with two long rifles, him and the other perpetrator, and began firing from the street into the facility."

The mayor applauded the quick response of two nearby police officers, who had been walking patrol one block away when they heard the gunshots.

"From what we can tell on the CCTV cameras, had they not responded, and had they not been there in that location, more than likely more people would have died," Fulop said. "The reason that those perpetrators seemed to be inside of that deli, and not able to move potentially to the school or to inflict more harm, was because the police responded immediately and returned fire."

Both officers sustained gunshot wounds in the shootout, according to James Shea, the public safety director in Jersey City, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

Prior to the shootout, Detective Joseph Seals was killed when he approached the suspects' van near Bayview Cemetery. The three bystanders and the two suspects were all found dead inside the store after the shootout.

Authorities have not yet officially released the names of the other victims or the suspects, noting that those details were part of an ongoing investigation.

Local officials said Tuesday they had as yet gleaned no discernible links with terrorism, and they were also careful Wednesday, despite calling it a targeted attack on a kosher deli, not to describe it specifically as an antisemitic attack.

"I didn't use the words 'antisemitic.' The motives are still part of the investigation," Shea told a reporter. "They exited the van, and they proceeded to attack this location in a targeted manner. Anything else is open for investigation."