NEW YORK: Six people, including a police officer and two suspected gunmen, were killed in an hours-long shootout that unfolded on Tuesday afternoon near a cemetery and a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New Jersey, police said.
The two suspects killed acted alone, Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly told a news conference hours later in the state’s second-largest city, which sits directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
The two gunmen and three civilian victims were pronounced dead inside the JC Kosher Supermarket. The slain police detective was fatally wounded near a cemetery about a mile away where the shooting apparently started when he tried to intercept one of the suspects, Kelly said
There was no immediate evidence the bloodshed was a hate crime or terror-related, he told reporters.
Kelly said he believed the civilians and the detective were all struck by gunfire from the suspects, who arrived in a stolen U-Haul truck and held police at bay around the store for hours before the shooting ended.
Two more police officers and a civilian were wounded but were reported in stable condition, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office posted on Twitter. Police said the two wounded officers were later released from the hospital.
The officer who died was identified as Joe Seals, a married father of five who had been with the Jersey City force since 2006, Mayor Steven Fulop told reporters.
All schools in Jersey City were placed on lockdown, which was lifted later in the afternoon, according to the mayor and local media.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter: “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,” Trump wrote.