Jersey City Active Shooter (December 10th, 2019)

Jersey City, NJ: 1 officer, 3 civilians, 2 suspects dead after active shooter situation at kosher market on MLK Dr near Bayview Dr; reports that location may have been targeted

On the morning after a deadly mass shooting in Jersey City, information continues to come to light and bring clarity to how the tragedy unfolded. But at this point, some information remains unknown and rumors remain unconfirmed. Here’s what we know and what we don’t.

What we know

  • Two suspects are believed to be responsible for a mass shooting Tuesday afternoon that left four people dead in Jersey City’s Greenville neighborhood, not including the suspects themselves. 
  • NBCNewYork.com reported on Wednesday morning that the suspects were David Anderson and Francine Graham. According to the NBC report, Anderson was a onetime follower of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. NBC also reported that investigators have found anti-Semitic and anti-police postings tied to Anderson’s social media accounts. 
  • The violence erupted at two locations, first at the Bayview Cemetery off of Garfield Avenue and then at Jersey City Kosher Supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive.
  • Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals, 40, was shot dead by the suspects around 12:30 p.m. in the cemetery. Seals was a veteran police officer and father of five children who lived in North Arlington.
  • The suspects then drove from the cemetery to the market in a stolen U-Haul van
  • At the supermarket, the suspects killed three civilians and wounded two police officers during an hours-long shootout with police. The shooting stopped when police killed the two suspects.
  • Chabad.com reported on Wednesday morning that two of the three victims killed in the kosher market were Leah Minda Ferencz, 33, who owned the store with her husband, and Moshe Deutsch, 24. The third victim was identified as Miguel Jason Rodriguez, an employee at the grocery store for more than a year.
  • The two wounded police officers — Raymond Sanchez, 28, and Mariela Fernandez, 36 — were treated and released from an area hospital. Sanchez and Fernandez had been on foot patrol near the store when the shooting began and were the first officers to respond to the scene, Jersey City Police Director James Shea said Wednesday morning.
  • In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Jersey City officials said there was no indication this was a terrorist attack. However, Tuesday night, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop tweeted that the kosher market appeared to have been deliberately targeted by the attackers based on surveillance footage.

What we don’t know

  • It is unclear what was happening in the cemetery when Seals first encountered the suspects.
  • It is unknown what connection, if any, yesterday’s shootings had to a murder in Bayonne over the weekend, and if Seals’ encounter with the suspects was related to that investigation. Likewise, it is also unknown if Seals may have disrupted a larger plot when he came upon the suspects in the cemetery.
  • After the deadly shooting in the cemetery, it is unclear exactly what route the suspects took to get to the supermarket. The New York Times has reported that they drove directly to the store and parked out front, indicating that the store was specifically targeted.
  • One more thing about that U-Haul van: It is unknown if the suspects actually had explosives in it. After the shootout had ended, authorities found devices in the van that they described as “pipe bombs.” The New York Times has reported that there was a pipe bomb in the van, but law enforcement has yet to confirm that publicly.

Local, state and federal law enforcement officials are scheduled to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon in Jersey City to give an update on the investigation into the shooting. (NJ.com)

News Coverage

  • Jersey City Shootout Suspects Identified: Sources (NBC New York)
  • Six Dead at Kosher Store; “Shooters Targeted the Location,” Says Jersey City Mayor (Chabad.org)
  • Jersey City Shooting: Suspect Linked to Black Hebrew Israelite Group (The New York Times)