Police in the NY metropolitan area were put on high alert to protect Jewish neighborhoods after an hours-long gunbattle with two men around a Jersey City kosher market that killed six people, authorities said.
Chabad Rabbi Moshe Schapiro, who shops at the store and attends the synagogue next door, said he spoke with the store owner, Moishe Ferencz, before Ferencz learned that his wife had been killed in the attack. Seals, who worked for a unit called Cease Fire, was shot around 12:30 p.m.
It was hours before the suspected gunmen, both believed to be men, were killed.
No law enforcement officials have publicly said the suspects targeted Jews or police, but a source told The New York Times one of the suspects involved in the shooting that left six people - including a police officer - dead published anti-Semitic and anti-police sentiments online, leading authorities to believe it was a motive. "The 2 JCPD officers that were on a foot post one block away immediately responded/engaged and prevented the perpetrators from leaving that location and harming any further civilians".
The shooting on Tuesday occurred at two scenes, starting near a cemetery then moving to a kosher supermarket, Jersey City Police Chief Mike Kelly said at a press conference.
"Hate and anti-semitism have never had a place here in JC and will never have a place in our city", Fulop tweeted.
"If not for them", Murphy said, "I shudder, we shudder to think about how much worse today could have been".
The names of the suspects and the third innocent victim have not been released by authorities.
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Hundreds of rounds were fired during the standoff, which prompted school closures and the deployment of SWAT teams and federal agents, as well as emergency support teams from the neighboring New York City Police Department.
Video shot by residents recorded loud volleys of gunfire reverberating along one of the city's main streets and showed a long line of law enforcement officers pointing guns as they advanced, yelling to bystanders, "Clear the street!" Two were the shooting suspects and three were innocent civilians who were either working or shopping at the market.
The 40-year-old slain officer, Detective Joseph Seals, who led the department in the number of illegal guns removed from the streets in recent years, was cut down by gunfire that erupted near a cemetery.
Investigators remain at the scene, and will be there for some time, according to Jersey City's Chief of Police.
Fulop on his Twitter account said he is Jewish and "proud to live in a community like Jersey City that has always welcomed everyone".
In the deadliest attack on Jews in the USA, 11 people were killed and two congregants were wounded in an October 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The two shooters calmly emerged from the vehicle and began to open fire on the market from the street.
Inside the grocery store, police found the bodies of who they believed were the two gunmen and three other people who apparently happened to be there when the assailants rushed in, authorities said.