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Jersey City's Mayor Says Gunmen Targeted Jewish Market

Jersey City's Mayor Says Gunmen Targeted Jewish Market Photo: WABC-TV

from Associated Press reports
Updated: December 11, 2019 01:41 PM

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - The mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey, says the gunmen in a furious firefight that left six people dead Tuesday clearly targeted a Jewish market.

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A day after the bloodshed, there are growing suspicions it was an anti-Semitic attack.

A law enforcement official says authorities are investigating potential connections between the attackers and the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, a black nationalist theology. The official spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the investigation remains ongoing.

The official says investigators also are scouring social media postings of at least one of the attackers in search of a motive.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Hebrew Israelites a black supremacist group. Some sects within the movement are known for their fierce condemnations of white and Jewish people.

Two of the victims have been identified by members of the Orthodox Jewish community as Mindel Ferencz, who with her husband owned the grocery, and 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn who happened to be shopping there on Tuesday.  The Ferencz family had moved to Jersey City from Brooklyn.

Authorities say a police officer, three bystanders, and two suspects were among those killed in the furious gunbattle that filled the streets of Jersey City with the sound of heavy gunfire for hours.

Speaking Tuesday, Police Chief Michael Kelly did not say exactly what set off the shooting but that he believes the officer who was killed was trying to stop some "bad guys.”

Mayor Steven Fulop said one officer was pronounced dead at a hospital and multiple other people were found dead at the scene. He said a second officer was struck in the shoulder by gunfire, and two others were injured by shrapnel.

SWAT teams, state police and federal agents responded to the scene.

Credits

from Associated Press reports

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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