Officials in Jersey City have confirmed the suspects behind Tuesday’s deadly shooting rampage purposely targeted a kosher grocery store, firing into the business before barricading themselves inside and engaging in a gun battle with police.
JC Kosher Supermarket, the scene of Tuesday afternoon’s deadly shootout with police, was singled out by the shooters, according to Mayor Steven Fulop.
“Last night, after extensive review of our CCTV system, it has now become clear from the cameras that these two individuals targeted the kosher grocery,” Fulop tweeted Wednesday morning.
Fulop commended the city’s police force, who held the suspects inside the store, obstructing any attempts to flee and harm others.
Tuesday’s violence began at Bayview Cemetery, when Jersey City Police Det. Joseph Seals, 39, approached the suspects, who were wanted for questioning in the murder of a 34-year-old man. The man’s body was found stuffed in a car that had been dumped in nearby Bayonne, New Jersey, law enforcement sources confirm.
The suspects shot and killed Seals — a 13-year veteran of the force known for getting illegal guns off the streets — and then fled to the kosher market a mile away. Seals became a detective in 2017, and leaves behind a wife and five young children.
After an hours-long standoff with police at the store, five people were found dead inside. Two were the shooting suspects and three were innocent civilians who were either working or shopping at the market.
Two of the civilians killed have been identified as Leah Minda Ferencz, 33, who owned the store with her husband, and Moshe Deutsch, who was 24.
“It’s a tough day for Jersey City,” Fulop told reporters Tuesday.
The names of the suspects and the third innocent victim have not been released by authorities.
In addition to the six people killed, two police officers and one civilian were non-fatally shot. All three were treated at a nearby hospital and released, PEOPLE learns.
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The intense standoff, which involved dozens of Jersey City officers along with SWAT teams and agents from both the ATF and FBI, led to lockdowns at several surrounding schools.
Investigators remain at the scene, and will be there for some time, according to Jersey City’s Chief of Police.
“The investigation will take weeks, maybe months,” Chief Michael Kelly told reporters. “The crime scene is very extensive and is at three locations, at least.”
The shooting at the cemetery began just after noon.
The gunmen fled in a stolen rental van, driving straight to the kosher market.
Helicopters hovered over the scene, and snipers took positions on nearby rooftops.