The gunmen who killed three people at a kosher supermarket after fatally shooting a police officer in Jersey City on Tuesday "targeted the location they attacked", Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said late Tuesday.
The three civilians and the two suspects were killed at the grocery store yesterday in what officials are now saying was a targeted, and potentially anti-Semitic, attack.
Two foot-patrol officers were about a block from the deli, he said, and responded as soon as they heard the gunfire.
In January 2015, a gunman took 19 people hostage, killing four of them, at a kosher supermarket in Paris. "With the amount of ammunition they had, we have to assume they would have continued attacking human beings if we hadn't been there".
"There were multiple other people on the street so there were many other targets available to them that they bypassed to attack that place, so it was clear that was their target and they meant to harm people inside", he said. The two shooters then ran into the grocery, spraying bullets at random, and after a multi-hour standoff were killed by the police in the store. He noted that the community should be prepared to see a bolstered police presence "in the days/weeks ahead".
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio added Tuesday that officers have been deployed to protect the Jewish community in his city. "At this hour there are no specific and credible threats against New York City", said de Blasio, who said he directed the NYPD to enter a "state of high alert".
Investigators don't yet know why the shooters attacked the store, and therefore they aren't labeling the attack as anti-Semitic, Shea said.
Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said the officer was trying to stop some "bad guys" near a cemetery.
The dead police officer was shot at the cemetery shortly before the shootout around the grocery began.
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The bodies of five people - two suspects and three people believed to be civilians - were found inside JC Kosher Supermarket, according to police. They responded from Newark, got to Jersey City.
Surveillance video shows a van moving slowly through the city's streets before stopping in front of the store, Fulop said.
Fulop has not elaborated on what the video shows, how it indicates the shooters targeted the market or what reason the suspects would have had to target the business.
The man appears to be the same person who described narrowly escaping the shooters in a recording that the Chabad website said was circulated on the WhatsApp messaging service.
Two other officers were wounded but were later released from the hospital, authorities said.
"We recognize the fear that communities rightfully feel after traumatic incidents such as these, and we are committed to providing all resources necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our fellow residents", Grewal said.
"It's unfortunate what happened, but we don't even want to think about what would have happened if they made their way up to the day care or to the synagogue", he said.
Last year, a 47-year-old Pennsylvania man, Robert Bowers, was arrested and accused of bursting into a Pittsburgh synagogue with a semi-automatic rifle and shooting 11 people to death.