Jersey City shooting being investigated as domestic terrorism

Jersey City, New Jersey — The two killers who stormed a kosher market in Jersey City were driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement, New Jersey’s attorney general said Thursday, adding that the case is being investigated as domestic terrorism.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal also disclosed the man and woman had five guns, including an AR-15-style rifle and a shotgun. They were wielding the two weapons when they burst into the store in an attack Tuesday that left the scene littered with several hundred shell casings.

They also had a pipebomb in their van.

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“The outcome would have been far, far worse,” if not for the Jersey City police, Grewal said.

The attackers killed three people in the store, in addition to a police officer at a cemetery about a mile away, before dying in an hourslong gunbattle with police Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

“The evidence points toward acts of hate. I can confirm that we’re investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs,” the attorney general said. He said social media posts and other evidence reflected their hatred of Jews and police.

Members of the Jewish community pass by near the scene of a mass shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket on December 11, 2019, in Jersey City, New Jersey. Rick Loomis / Getty

After killing three people in the store, the shooters concentrated their fire on police and did not shoot at others who happened to be on the street, Grewal said.

Grewal said the attackers — David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50 — had expressed interest in a fringe religious group called the Black Hebrew Israelites, whose members often rail against Jews and whites. But he said there was no evidence so far that they were members, and added that the two were believed to have acted alone.

The pair brought their cache of weapons in a U-Haul van they drove from Bay View Cemetery, where they shot and killed Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals, according to the attorney general.

Anderson fired away with the AR-15-style rifle as he entered the store, while Graham brought a 12-gauge shotgun into the shop. They also had handguns with a homemade silencer and a device to catch shell casings. In all, they had five guns — four recovered in the store, one in the van — in what Grewal called a “tremendous amount of firepower.”

Officials Say Shooting In Jersey City At Kosher Market Was Targeted Attack A recovery and clean up crew member holds rounds recovered from inside the JC Kosher Supermarket on December 11, 2019, in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Rick Loomis / Getty

Serial numbers from two of the weapons showed that Graham purchased them in Ohio in 2018, the attorney general said.

The victims killed in the store were: Mindel Ferencz, 31, who with her husband owned the grocery; 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn who was shopping there; and store employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49.

The bloodshed in the city of 270,000 people across the Hudson River from New York City spread fear through the Jewish community.

Jersey City honors Detective Joseph Seals, father of 5 killed in shooting

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