(December 10, 2019 / JNS) At least six people were killed on Tuesday afternoon inside the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City, N.J.
Three civilians, one officer and two suspects were reported killed. An eyewitness confirmed that two of the civilians are members of the local Chassidic community.
Others were injured as a result of rapid-fire shooting by two male suspects entering the store and were taken to a local hospital.
Police say the motives were not related to anti-Semitism or terrorism.
According to Chabad.org, the store is located next to a small synagogue and school with about 40 Jewish children, said Rabbi Shmuel Levitin, who directs Chabad Young Professionals of Hoboken and Jersey City with his wife, Esta, and frequents the market.
The store owner had left moments before the shooting began to pray the afternoon Mincha service at the synagogue and was unable to return, said Rabbi Moshe Schapiro, co-director of Chabad of Hoboken and Jersey City, who has been in touch with him.
FBI New Jersey, the Hudson County SWAT Team, New Jersey’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and other law-enforcement agencies responded to the incident.
Nearby schools, including a Catholic one, were first on lockdown; however, the children—all safe—have since been dismissed.
“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 currently under lockdown,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “I have every confidence in our law-enforcement professionals to ensure the safety of the community and resolve this situation.”
“Just seeing the news out of Jersey City—please avoid Martin Luther King Drive until further notice. Thank you to the first responders who arrived on the scene,” tweeted Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).
Just seeing the news out of Jersey City—please avoid Martin Luther King Drive until further notice.
Thank you to the first responders who arrived on the scene. https://t.co/iWLODLyA2M
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) December 10, 2019
“Closely monitoring the active shooter situation in Jersey City. For folks in the area, please continue to avoid Martin Luther King Drive for now—it’s not safe. Grateful for the first responders who quickly arrived on the scene, and praying for the officers shot in the standoff,” tweeted Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
Closely monitoring the active shooter situation in Jersey City. For folks in the area, please continue to avoid Martin Luther King Drive for now—it’s not safe.
Grateful for the first responders who quickly arrived on the scene, and praying for the officers shot in the standoff. https://t.co/vEaI5fYP7Z
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) December 10, 2019
At least one U.S. politician wasted no time connecting the unfolding situation to the calls for gun control.
“Terrible news in Jersey City today as two gunman shot and injured one police officer near Martin Luther King Drive. Gun violence is my top priority! We’ve already passed bills and I am pushing my gun buyback bill to get these guns off the street,” tweeted Rep. Donald Payne Jr., whose district includes Jersey City.
Terrible news in Jersey City today as two gunman shot and injured one police officer near Martin Luther King Drive.
Gun violence is my top priority! We’ve already passed bills and I am pushing my gun buyback bill to get these guns off the street.https://t.co/qtqLjgxyiY
— Rep. Donald Payne Jr (@RepDonaldPayne) December 10, 2019
The White House said that U.S. President Donald Trump has been briefed about the situation.
Arthur Stark, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, expressed solidarity “for the Jewish community and all the residents of Jersey City, where it appears members of the community were wounded by gunfire, as were members of the police force responding to gunfire from active shooters. We do not know at this point if the kosher supermarket from which they were firing was an intended target. We pray for the safety of all those involved.”
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