JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Police officers in Jersey City didn’t think twice about putting themselves in harm’s way to put an end to the violence Tuesday.
That commitment cost one brave officer his life.
Detective Joseph Seals had recently been promoted to the Cease Fire Unit of the Jersey City Police Department. The mayor says he was known all over this city as a good cop.
At the start of Tuesday’s shootout, Seals gave his own life trying to stop the shooters from hurting anyone else.
Dozens of police officers were bravely walking toward danger throughout the hours-long shoot out.
“The police department in Jersey City and our partners did an extraordinary job. Under very difficult circumstances, under high power rifle power,” police chief Michael Kelly said.
Authorities say Det. Seals was undercover at Bay View Cemetery and trying to stop the suspects when he was shot in the head and killed.
This is Det Joe Seals who was killed in the line of duty today! He was a husband and father of 5. He is a #Hero and died protecting the citizens of Jersey City! God Bless his family and all of the JCPD members! #JerseyCityShooting @JCPoliceDept pic.twitter.com/pvs62bb0af
— NJ Chiefs of Police (@NJSACOP) December 10, 2019
“He was our leading officer in removing guns from street. Dozens of handguns he’s responsible for getting off street,” Chief Kelly added.
Seals was a 15-year veteran of the Jersey City Police Department and a beloved husband and father of five.
“We cried with the family. It’s one of the hardest things you have to see in your entire life. Nobody expected I’m sure Detective Seals not to return home. I’m sure his children expected him to return home,” Mayor Steven Fulop said.
The Clifton Police Benevolent Association posted a photo of the late detective from his wedding day, writing “prayers are with his family, the Jersey City Police Department, and first responders everywhere.”
On Tuesday night, police were guarding Seals’ neighborhood in North Arlington, where Christmas music is playing on loop on the family’s porch.
“Our condolences are with his wife and children and their entire family at this extraordinarily tough time,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Watch: Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly On Deadly Shootout
Officials say Officers Mariela Fernandez and Ray Sanchez were also shot – one in the shoulder and the other in the chest.
Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik says his son Joseph – a detective with the Newark SWAT team – was part of a group of officers who drove into the store where the suspected gunmen were hiding and helped take down the suspects.
At Jersey City Medical Center with my son Joe… he’s okay by Prayers for the Jersey City Police and their fallen officer. 🙏🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) December 10, 2019
“There is no question that the Jersey City Police Department did what they are supposed to do to protect the people in that neighborhood,” Public Safety Director James Shea added.
Authorities say the two injured officers have already been released from the hospital.