Thursday, 12 December 2019

Victims killed in Jersey City Jewish supermarket attack after shooter who 'was a Black Hebrew Israelite and posted anti-Semitic bile online' went on rampage with woman he had dated

  • Francine Graham and David Anderson opened fire on Detective Joseph Seals at 12.30pm in a cemetery in Jersey City  
  • Seals was investigating the murder of an Uber driver who was found dead on Saturday 
  • After killing the cop, they drove a stolen U-Haul to JC Kosher Supermarket nearby 
  • They then barricaded themselves inside and engaged in a two-hour shootout with police and SWAT teams
  • It ended with SWAT teams ramming the storefront; once they got inside, they found the two gunmen dead and three innocent people also killed
  •  Leah Mindel Ferencz, 33,  Moshe Hirsch Deutsch, 24, and 49-year-old Miguel Douglas all died  
  • Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop says the attack was a hate crime and the Jewish store was targeted  
The three people slaughtered inside a Jewish kosher supermarket on Tuesday by an 'anti-Semitic former Black Hebrew Israelite' and his former girlfriend have been identified. 
Moshe Hirsch Deutsch, 24, and Leah Mindel Ferencz, 33, were killed in the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City along with store worker Miguel Douglas, 49, by shooters Francine Graham and David Anderson. Ferencz was the wife of the supermarket's owner. 
They were preyed upon by the shooters who drove to the supermarket slowly and calmly from a cemetery a mile away where they had killed police detective Joseph Seals. Seals was investigating the murder of an Uber driver over the weekend when he approached the pair. 
According to authorities, Graham and Anderson drove calmly in a U-haul truck to the supermarket then got out of the vehicle with 'long' assault rifles drawn and started shooting. They had a pipe bomb in the U-haul.
Two police officers who happened to be a block away sprinted to the scene upon hearing the shots and they returned fire on the suspects which triggered a two-hour standoff. 
It ended when a team which included former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik's son, Joseph, rammed the storefront with an armored cop car. The two shooters and their victims were then found inside. 
The motive for the shooting remains unclear. 
Police sources say Anderson had made anti-Semitic posts online and that he was once a Black Hebrew Israelite but what specifically drove them to carry out the killings remains unknown. Legal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the Black Hebrew Israelite a hate group. They have no connection with mainstream Judaism.
The New York Times reported that a 'brief but rambling' manifesto was found inside the U-haul. 
Neighbors of Grahams say she met him after stopping her job as a home health aide when she became injured. 
They said she became a 'dark person' after meeting Anderson and that he coerced her into joining a militant religion. The neighbor, who did not want to be named, told NBC he heard her chanting a word that translated to 'evil' from her home before she moved out last year. 
Her spree with Anderson is believed to have begun on Saturday when the pair are thought to have murdered Uber driver Michael Rumberger, 34, by beating him to death then putting his body the trunk of his car. 
Detective Joseph Seals was investigating that death when he approached the pair in the cemetery on Tuesday because he saw their U-Haul which had already been tied to the murder. 
After shooting dead Seals, Anderson and Graham drove to the JC Kosher Supermarket and shot dead the three victims inside.
For two hours, the pair exchanged gunfire with police in a terrifying siege which put schools in the area on lock-down and had residents running for their lives. 
The stand-off ended when cops rammed the storefront. Once inside, they found Anderson and Graham dead from gunshot wounds along with Ferencz, who was married to the JC Kosher Supermarket's owner, Deutsch and Douglas. 
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted on Tuesday night that the store was 'targeted' and that it was an anti-Semitic attack.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed his claims, saying on Wednesday morning the incident was 'clearly a hate crime'. Police will not yet confirm that detail.  
'There are still a lot of questions but after reviewing the CCTV cameras, we do feel comfortable saying that it was a targeted attack on the Jewish Kosher Deli. 
'[The footage showed] the van moving slowly, the perpetrators then stopped in front of there, calmly opened the door with two long rifles and began firing from the street into the facility. 
'Two officers on a walking post about a block south when they heard the gunshots. They responded immediately. 
'Had they not, it's more than likely more people would have died. 
'The reason those perpetrators were inside that deli and could not go on, possibly to a school, or to inflict more harm was because the police responded immediately and returned fire,' he said. 

Attack began with shooting of cop investigating livery cab murder  

The chaos began shortly before 12.30pm, when Detective Seals, 39, was shot dead by the two suspects at the Bay View Cemetery, which is a Protestant Christian burial ground.
Seals, a married father of five and member of the CeaseFire Unit dedicated to de-escalating gun violence, was investigating the death of Michael Rumberger, 34. He was found dead on Saturday.  
Sources say that Seals spotted a stolen U-Haul van that police suspected was linked to Rumberger's murder, and approached the vehicle near the cemetery. 
As Seals approached, a suspect got out of the van to shoot the officer before speeding off. Police immediately pursued.
The suspects apparently drove in the stolen U-Haul directly to the JC Kosher Supermarket, about a mile away.
Shots were reported in the area at around 12.30pm, as the two suspects, clad in all-black and armed with assault rifles, stormed the store.

Suspects storm kosher market, kill civilians and engage police in standoff

Surveillance video shows the two suspects shoot a Hasidic Jewish man on the street and then run into the store, where they began firing at the victims inside, according to WNYC.
The suspects, donning long black coats, wielding high-powered rifles and with a large supply of ammo. Officials are investigating a possible makeshift pipe-bomb device inside the truck, but it may not have been functional, officials said. 
A hours-long standoff ensued, with the suspects barricaded inside the store and firing at any officers who approached. 
Two cops, Officers Ray Sanchez and Mariela Fernandez, were struck by gunfire and injured in the shootout, but both have been released from the hospital in good condition.  
The fierce shootout terrified residents as gunfire rang out for hours. By the end, three innocent civilians were dead, and police stormed the market and killed the two suspects.
The day of chaos across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan produced numerous conflicting reports about the shooters and the sequence of events, and many details have yet to be resolved.

Officials remember fallen officer as dedicated member of CeaseFire Unit 

Seals was reportedly following up on a homicide investigation when he approached the two suspects in the cemetery.
He was a member of the CeaseFire unit, which often tries to intervene in gang conflicts to prevent retaliatory killings after drug murders. 
Officials say that Seals was responsible for getting dozens of illegal firearms off the streets.
However, Chief Kelly declined to specify exactly what kind of investigation Seals was pursuing at the time he confronted the two suspects.
Kelly said that Seals had joined the Jersey City police department in 2006, and praised him as dedicated detective who was well-liked on the force.
'Joe was somebody who was involved in city,' said Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop at a press conference. 'Officers in other precincts knew who he was because he was a good cop.' 
After shooting Seals, the two suspects fled the scene in what police describe as a stolen U-Haul truck. 

Residents' terror as hundreds of rounds fly during hours-long shootout 

The bullets started flying early in the afternoon in the city of about 270,000 people, situated across the Hudson River from the Statue of Liberty.
The shooting spread fear through the neighborhood, and the nearby Sacred Heart School was put on lockdown as a precaution.
Witness Brian Clark told CBS2: 'I got caught in a one way street with a bunch of cars and I was wondering why nobody was moving. And all of a sudden I heard it. All the shots started. Shots started ringing out. 
'When I heard it, I see people running. I got out of the car and I see cops ducked down, and cops getting out of the way. 
'And I'm wondering why, what the hell? So I get out of my car and I see it, and I heard it – pow pow pow pow pow – then I realized I was in a shootout. I never heard that many shots in my life. It was like I was in a war zone.'  
Andy Patel, works at a liquor store about three blocks away from the site of the shooting, told the Associated Press there had been consistent gunfire for at least an hour.  
'I can hear the gunshots. It's like firecrackers going off,' Patel said. 'They were shooting like crazy about an hour ago. Then it stopped for like 20 or 30 minutes. The cops were clearing everyone off the streets.' 
The standoff sparked a massive multi-agency response, and the scene was flooded with heavily armed NYPD emergency services unit officers, FBI agents,Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents, and counter-terrorism task force officers.  
Police blocked off the area while dozens of bystanders stood around the perimeter and filmed the action on their cellphones. 

Kosher market is at center of small but growing Orthodox Jewish community 

The kosher grocery is a central fixture in a growing community of Orthodox Jews who have been moving to Jersey City in recent years. Authorities were unable to immediately say why the gunmen went there.
Rabbi Moshe Shapiro, who shops at the kosher store and attends a synagogue next door, said he spoke with the store owner, Moishe Ferencz.
'He told me he had just walked out of the store into the synagogue not five feet away just before this happened, and then he couldn't get back for hours,' Shapiro said. 'His wife was inside the store. He said, `I hope my wife is safe.´'
The shootout went on for at least two hours, until police were able to take out the two suspects. The son of former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik was among the cops who helped take down the shooters, a source told the New York Post. 
Kerik's son Joseph Kerik, a cop in Newark and member of a federal task force, was among the officers on board an armored truck that ended the standoff by smashing through the market's plate glass window and engaging the suspects, shooting them dead.
Along with the two dead suspects, police found three dead civilians inside the store. Chief Kelly said that preliminary information indicated that they were killed by the suspects, and not by friendly fire from the officers trying to save them. 
The Sacred Heart School, located across the street from where the shooting took place, was put on lockdown shortly after noon. 
The terrified students were allowed to leave when the lockdown ended at 4.15pm, hours after school was supposed to let out. 
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted that he had been briefed on the unfolding 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 currently under lockdown,' Murphy wrote.  
Snipers were later seen on the roof of the building. 
Jersey City Board of Education President Sudhan Thomas confirmed that both Lincoln and Snyder high schools are on lockdown, as well as Schools 12, 14, 29, and 41. 
President Donald Trump tweeted: 'Just received a briefing on the horrific shootout that took place in Jersey City, NJ. Our thoughts & prayers are w/ the victims & their families during this very difficult & tragic time. 
'We will continue to monitor the situation as we assist local & state officials on the ground.' 

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