The shooting suspects who killed four people, including a police officer, may have been motivated by anti-Semitic and anti-police bias, the New York Times reports.
According to the report, one of the two suspects, who have been identified only as a male and a female, had posted anti-police and anti-Semitic posts on social media prior to the deadly gunfight. Both of the suspects were killed after they opened fire in a kosher grocery store on Tuesday. One of the suspects had shot an off-duty police officer in a cemetery before the suspects drove to the grocery and began shooting.
That officer, Detective Joe Seals, died of his injuries. He was a veteran of the Jersey City police force and a married father of five, the New York Times reports.
Three other people were killed in the grocery shootout, bringing the total death toll to six, including the slain police officer and the suspects.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the suspects drove in a U-Haul van from the cemetery where the police officer was shot and went to the Jersey City Kosher Supermarket. Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly told the New York Times that responding officers were met with “high-powered rifle fire.”
A law enforcement official told the newspaper that investigators found a live pipe bomb inside the U-Haul on Tuesday.
According to the report, Detective Seals had approached the suspects because the vehicle was connected to an ongoing homicide investigation. Authorities have not yet released further details about that investigation.
The additional victims of the shooting have not yet been identified by law enforcement sources. According to multiple reports, including the Jewish Chronicle, Leah Mindel Ferencz, 33, the wife of store owner Moshe Hirsch Ferencz, was among those killed inside the market. The owner of the grocery had stepped out before the shooting, and was inside a nearby synagogue when gunfire erupted in the store. The synagogue was placed on lockdown, along with area schools and other buildings.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further details when more information is available.
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[Feature image: AP Photo/Seth Wenig]