A police officer and three civilians are dead after a shooting in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Tuesday afternoon prompted a massive police response.
After taking over a store in an hours-long standoff, two gunmen were also found dead, CBS New York reported.
Jersey City Police Chief Mike Kelly identified the slain police officer as Detective Joseph Seals, The Associated Press reported. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop described the detective as “one of the best officers for getting the most guns off the streets. He was a good cop.”
Two officers were also wounded in the exchange of gunfire, authorities told Fox 6 Now. They were later released from the hospital.
About a dozen schools in the area were placed on lockdown during the shooting. The lockdown was lifted at 4:15 p.m.
It’s unclear what sparked the shooting, which one law enforcement source described to NBC New York as an “ambush.” The investigation is ongoing.
Jersey City’s director of public safety, James Shea, said at a news conference that there was nothing to indicate that the shooting was terror-related, citing The New York Times. However, Fulop issued a statement Tuesday night saying that there is reason to believe that the active shooters targeted the “location they attacked.”
“Based on our initial investigation (which is ongoing) we now believe the active shooters targeted the location they attacked,” Fulop tweeted. “Due to an excess of caution the community may see additional police resources in the days/weeks ahead. We have no indication there are any further threats.”
The White House said President Donald Trump has been briefed, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy released a statement, saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department.”
New Jersey police said a number of local, state, and federal agencies were assisting with their response and investigation.
From a cemetery to a grocery store
The shooting started at Bayview Cemetery, where a police officer was shot in the shoulder, according to WABC. Up to two suspects then fled the scene and holed up in a Jewish grocery about a mile away at 223 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Gunfire could be heard from around 12:30 to 2 p.m., at which point CNN and WABC reported that one or both of the shooters had been “neutralized” and that a robot was being sent into the building.
— NYC Blue Lives Photographer (@bluelivesphoto) December 10, 2019
6 dead, including 2 shooters
Fulop said multiple bodies were found inside the store. CBS New York later clarified that two of the victims were the gunmen and three others were victims.
Earlier, NBC New York reported that one gunman may have fled the business.
The officer shot in the cemetery was hit in the shoulder and is expected to survive, according to WABC. Two others were injured from shrapnel, Fulop said.
Rapid response from SWAT teams
Earlier in the afternoon, video showed SWAT teams arming themselves and putting on gas masks before moving in closer to the store.
According to NJ.com, the two gunmen arrived in the area in a moving van, each carrying long guns into the bodega. They were dressed in black, according to News 12 New Jersey.
The NYPD bomb squad was called in to check the rental vehicle for explosives, but nothing was found, CBS New York reported.
RARE OCCURRENCE: NYPD Special Ops seen in New Jersey at the scene of the active shooting in Jersey City. pic.twitter.com/CHgPeKqJP8
— Chuniya Chand Chaukhan (@5thVed) December 10, 2019
An Uber driver who happened upon the scene told CBS New York that it was the most gunfire he had heard in his life.
“I’ve never heard that many shots in my life. It was like I was in a war zone,” the driver said.
The New Jersey police union tweeted shortly after 1 p.m.: “We need a lot of prayers right now for Jersey City police officers. Keep all those involved in your thoughts.”
This content was originally published here.