An assailant involved in the continued firefight in Jersey City, N.J., that left six people dead, including one police officer, was associated on Wednesday to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which has been named a hate group, and had published anti-Semitic posts online, a law enforcement official stated.
The authorities also presumed that the two assailants, David N. Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, may have been implicated in a separate killing in neighboring Bayonne, N.J., according to the New Jersey’s attorney general, Gurbir S. Grewal.
The violent rampage on Tuesday occurred principally at a kosher supermarket where three Jewish bystanders were killed. The authorities now believe that the store was explicitly targeted by the assailants.
Mr. Anderson seemed to have a association to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, though the scope of his involvement in that group remains unclear, the law enforcement official stated.
The Black Hebrew Israelites have no association with mainstream Judaism. It has been characterized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy group that follows such movements.
Among those killed were three Jewish bystanders who were inside the store when the shootout began. They have been identified as Mindel Ferencz, 33, who ran the market with her husband; Moshe Deutch, 24, a rabbinical student who lives in Brooklyn; and Miguel Douglas, 49, who was believed to have worked at the store.
One other person inside the store was wounded but managed to escape, according to Mr. Grewal.
The Jersey City police officer who was killed was identified on Tuesday as Detective Joe Seals, a 15-year law enforcement veteran and a father of five.
Seals was killed at Bayview Cemetery before the shooting shifted to the convenience store. According to authorities, Detective Seals approached the two assailants, a man and a woman, who were inside a U-Haul van at a cemetery near the kosher market because the van had been associated to a homicide over the weekend, according to the law enforcement official. The official did not have any more details on the homicide. Video surveillance footage subsequently reveals that the attackers shot the detective and then sped away, ending up in front of the kosher market where they parked and entered the store with their guns firing, the official stated. [NYTimes]