6 dead, including a policeman and 2 suspects, in shooting in New Jersey
NEW YORK: Six people, including a police officer and two suspected gunmen, were killed in a one-hour shooting that took place Tuesday afternoon near a graveyard and a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New jersey said the police.
The two murdered suspects acted alone, said Jersey City police chief Michael Kelly at a press conference hours later in the second largest city in the state, located directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
The two armed men and the three civilian victims were pronounced dead inside the JC Kosher supermarket. The murdered police detective was mortally wounded near a cemetery a mile away where the shooting apparently began when he tried to intercept one of the suspects, Kelly said.
There was no immediate evidence that bloodshed was a hate crime or related to terror, he told reporters.
Kelly said he believed the civilians and the detective were shot at by suspects, who arrived in a stolen truck and kept police at bay around the store for hours before the shooting ended.
His movement was fast and continuous for four hours within that area, the chief said at a nightly press conference. He described the crime scene as very extensive, covering at least three locations. Hundreds of shots were fired, he said.
Kelly said investigators believed that U-Haul's vehicle contained what may have been an incendiary device, which he said was removed and taken for examination by police bomb squad personnel.
Two other police officers and a civilian were injured, but they were reported to be in stable condition, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office on Twitter. Police said the two injured agents were later discharged from the hospital.
The officer who died was identified as Joe Seals, a married father of five children who had been with the force of Jersey City since 2006, the mayor told reporters.
The suspects fled the cemetery area in a truck and eventually ended up in the kosher supermarket, where they opened fire on police and civilians, the New York Times reported, citing officials. Investigators believe the store was chosen at random, according to the newspaper.
The confrontation caused a massive deployment of law enforcement with locals SMASH federal teams and agents running to the scene, as well as emergency services from the neighbor New York City Police Department .
According to the mayor and local media, all of the schools in Jersey City were locked, which rose later in the afternoon.
Oh my god, it's like a movie. It's crazy ... Nothing I've seen before. I'm still shaking, an unidentified resident of the area told the NBC subsidiary in New York.
Kelly said the incident occurred in a promising neighborhood of Jersey City, a racially mixed city of some 265,000 residents.
This neighborhood has had challenges. It has become a much safer and much better neighborhood in the last two years, more or less three years, said the police chief. We can only say that people who live in the neighborhood support the police department. Today they were there showing support.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said on Twitter: I just received a briefing on the horrible shooting that took place in Jersey City, NJ. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this very difficult and tragic moment.
We will continue to monitor the situation while helping local and state officials on the ground, Trump wrote.