The shooting -- perpetrated by a male and female suspect -- was called a "hate crime" by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

By Harriet Sokmensuer
December 11, 2019 01:48 PM
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New Jersey officials have confirmed that the suspects in Tuesday’s deadly Jersey City shooting rampage targeted a Kosher supermarket in what authorities are calling a hate crime.

“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 location on MLK Dr,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a tweet Wednesday morning.

That same morning, in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the shooting “clearly a hate crime, a very violent hate crime.”

Six people died in the attack, including the two shooters.

The shooters have been identified by police officials close to the investigation as David Anderson and Francine Graham.

Jersey City active shooter

The victims include the owner of JC Kosher Supermarket, an employee, a shopper and a police officer who was killed before the shooters entered the market.

While the civilian victims’ names have not yet been released by police, Rabbi David Niederman, President of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn, identified the two Orthodox Jewish victims as Mindel Ferencz, 33, and her cousin, 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, ABC7 and CBS2 report.

Moshe Deutch
Moshe Deutch
| Credit: Chai Lifeline/Facebook

Ferencz owned the market with her husband, Chabad Rabbi Moshe Schapiro told CBS2.

“Mindel Ferencz — may she rest in peace — was a pioneer. She and her husband were from the first people who moved to Jersey City, who could not afford a home for their growing family and figured, ‘Let’s go to places where it’s cheaper, and I’ll make an example and go there. I’ll open a grocery store so that families can go and shop locally,’” Niederman said, CBS 2 reports.

“Therefore growing the community, alleviating the pain of so many – thousands of families – who live under unbearable conditions.”

Leah Mindel Ferencz
Leah Mindel Ferencz

“She was a lady full of love for others,” he continued. “Unfortunately, her life was cut so short.”

The third victim inside the market was identified by Williams Machazek, pastor of Iglesia Nueva Vida in Newkar, as Miguel Jason Rodriguez, the Bergen Record reports. Rodriguez worked at the market for about a year and leaves behind a wife and 11-year-old daughter.

The fourth victim was identified as Jersey City Police Det. Joseph Seals, 39, who was shot at a cemetery a mile away from the market.

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The violence began just after noon at Bayview Cemetery, when Seals 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.

Joseph Seals
Fallen Detective Joseph Seals
| Credit: Twitter

The suspects shot and killed Seals — a 13-year veteran of the force known for getting illegal guns off the streets — and then fled in a stolen van straight 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 bodies were found inside.

At a Wednesday press conference, de Blasio said police were on “high alert” while Fulop urged the community to stand together.

“I’m Jewish and proud to live in a community like that has always welcomed everyone,” Fulop tweeted. “It is the home of and has always been the golden door to America. Hate and anti-semitism have never had a place here in JC and will never have a place in our city.”

A GoFundMe page has been created to help raise money for Seals’ memorial.