JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Authorities are investigating the deadly Jersey City shooting as a potential act of domestic terrorism.
On Thursday, New Jersey’s Attorney General Gurbir Grewal released new details of the investigation into the wild shootout.READ MORE: Judge Lifts Temporary Pause On Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers And Other City Workers, Who Now Must Be Vaccinated By Monday
WATCH: N.J. AG Gurbir Grewal, Officials Share Latest On Jersey City Shooting
Grewal said investigators recovered five firearms at the scene — four in the kosher market with the suspects and one in the U-Haul rental van outside. Inside the store they found an AR-15-style weapon they believe suspect David Anderson was firing, and a 12-gauge shotgun they believe was carried by suspect Francine Graham. Two 9 mm pistols were also found with the suspects, Grewal said.
In the van, they found a .22-caliber pistol with a homemade silencer and a device to catch shell casings, Grewal said. The van was outfitted with ballistic panels, according to Grewal.
The shotgun and .22 were legally purchased by Graham in Ohio in 2018.
Anderson, 47, and Graham, 50, shot the people in the market and then shot at responding police officers, Grewal said.
A pipe bomb was also found and was being investigated by the FBI.
Authorities said Anderson and Graham were also prime suspects in another murder over the weekend in Bayonne.
“Based on what we have collected so far, however, including based on recent witness interviews, we believe that the suspects held views that reflected hatred of the Jewish people, as well as a hatred of law enforcement,” Grewal said.
Grewal added that the suspects “expressed interest” in the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, but “we have not definitively established any formal links to that organization or to any other group. Based on the available evidence, we believe the two shooters were acting on their own.
“The evidence points to acts of hate. I can confirm that we’re investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs,” Grewal added.
“You could see people walking by and they didn’t engage anyone. They were clearly targeting that store. They were clearly targeting the Jersey City Police Department. We don’t know why. That’s where we are now,” said Craig Carpenito, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.
VICTIMS LAID TO REST
Funerals were held Wednesday night for two of the victims.
On Thursday morning, community members were trying to wrap their heads around what happened as things slowly returned to normal.
The Sacred Heart School across the street from the location of the deadly shootout reopened after being closed Wednesday, and counselors were on hand for students and staff who witnessed the terrifying gun battle.
Soft piano music played as mourners of all faiths held candles and prayed under the protection of armored police Thursday night. Among the grieving – a man who says shooting victim Douglas Rodriguez was like a brother to him.READ MORE: 'I Want A Proper Education': Some NYC Public School Students With Medical Exemptions From In-Person Instruction Feel They're Falling Behind
“We love him, we miss him, we know he will be fine because he believed in Jesus,” he told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
Through tears the grieving wife of Rodriguez told the crowd she forgives the attackers and thanked those who employed her husband at that kosher market.
“Especially the Jewish community that learn to love my husband and was there for him and embraced him.”
COMPLETE COVERAGE: More From Reporters & Witnesses On Scene
Chilling surveillance video shows the suspects park a stolen U-Haul van, get out with rifles and begin firing on the kosher market. David Lax can be seen running from the store.
“The way they looked at me, the way they started shooting, the way they came in … they came to kill,” he told CBS2.
Inside the store were bullet holes and shattered glass, the results of the hours-long standoff with police.
“I saw the U-Haul truck coming in, and two people came out in black coats and they ran directly into the supermarket — the Jewish kosher supermarket — and they started shooting,” witness Sam Gold said.
Gold said he parked across the street, hid and prayed for his life as three innocent people were gunned down — the store owner’s wife, Mindel Ferencz, customer Moshe Deutsch and Rodriguez.
“I was laying in my car, bullets on top of my head. I was scared every second that bullets were going to go through my car,” Gold said.
Minutes before the attack, Anderson and Graham also shot and killed Det. Joseph Seals in Bay View Cemetery about a mile away after he confronted them, authorities said, possibly because they were suspected in the weekend murder of livery cab driver Michael Rumberger in Bayonne, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
PHOTO GALLERY: Scenes From Jersey City’s Deadly Shootout
President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered his condolences on behalf of the nation during a Hanukkah reception at the White House, where he signed an executive order aimed at combating anti-Semitism.
“Yesterday, two wicked murderers opened fire at a kosher supermarket and killed four innocent souls, including a brave police officer,” he said. “With one heart, America weeps for the lives lost. With one voice, we vow to crush the monstrous evil of anti-Semitism.”
The measure expands his administration’s interpretation of “race and national origin” to include Judaism, a move that will extend civil rights protections in academic settings. The White House believes it will help fight what the administration sees as antisemitism on college campuses.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also vowed to protect Jewish communities and said he will establish a new unit to eradicate hate groups, similar to what the NYPD did to locate terror cells after 9/11. Known by the acronym R-E-M-E, the unit will investigate racially and ethnically motivated extremism.MORE NEWS: Mattress Giveaway In Queens Highlights Depth Of Need That Remains 3 Weeks After Ida
JERSEY CITY SHOOTING COMPLETE COVERAGE
- Attackers Identified, Considered Prime Suspects In Recent Killing Of Uber Driver In Bayonne
- Det. Seals Remembered As A ‘Cop’s Cop,’ Funeral Arrangements Announced
- Victims Identified As ‘Pioneer,’ Volunteer And Worker
- Mayor De Blasio: ‘Don’t Treat The Holocaust Like Something That Could Never Happen Again’
- Anti-Defamation League Talks On Fear Gripping Jewish Community
- CBS2 Journalists Recount Fear Of Being In Harm’s Way
- Students, Parents Shaken As They Return To School
- Barrage Of Gunfire Heard In Jersey City As Police Move On Shooting Suspects
- Photos: Scenes From Jersey City’s Deadly Shootout