Police Officer, 5 Others Killed In Jersey City Shootings

Dec 10, 2019
Originally published on December 10, 2019 9:35 pm

Updated at 7:02 p.m. ET

Six people, including one police officer, were killed Tuesday in Jersey City, N.J., during a shooting at a cemetery and in a gunbattle in a local market that lasted for hours.

There were two separate shooting incidents beginning at Bayview Cemetery, where the officer was slain, and then later at a kosher market, where five bodies were found after hours of gunfire.

Local police say the two shooting suspects, both males, and three bystanders were found dead inside the store.

Investigators believe the two suspected gunmen in the shootings "targeted" the Jewish grocery store they attacked, Mayor Steven Fulop announced in a tweet late Tuesday.

"Due to an excess of caution the community may see additional police resources in the days/weeks ahead. We have no indication there are any further threats," he added.

The slain officer was identified as Detective Joseph Seals, 40, a father of five who served with the Jersey City Police Department for 15 years.

There is "no indication of terrorism," a local official said at a news conference late Tuesday.

Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said his officers found a stolen U-Haul vehicle, "which may contain an incendiary device." Kelly said the vehicle is a third crime scene, but he stressed that the investigation is still in its preliminary stages and "will take weeks, maybe months."

Two other officers were wounded, but both have been released from the hospital.

Kelly said Seals worked for the "cease-fire unit," which concentrates on getting illegal guns off the streets.

"Today is a horrific day," the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association tweeted Tuesday. "Officers have come under attack and we have several wounded. Our hearts are heavy and the violence is not over. We need prayers."

The New York Police Department has sent special operations officers to support local law enforcement just across the Hudson River.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that he had been briefed on the situation.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department, especially with the officers shot during this standoff, and with the residents and schoolchildren [who were] under lockdown," he said in a statement.

"I have every confidence in our law enforcement professionals to ensure the safety of the community and resolve this situation. Today reminds us of their bravery and the sacrifices they, and their families, make for our communities."

This is a developing story. Some things reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.

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