Multiple Dead After Chaotic, Hours-Long Shootout in Jersey City

Video footage of the chaotic scene showed a massive police response, including SWAT teams and snipers positioned on nearby roofs.
December 10, 2019, 7:54pm
Video footage of the scene showed a massive police response, including SWAT teams and snipers positioned on nearby roofs.

Multiple people are dead following a chaotic shooting that started at a cemetery and proceeded to a kosher deli in Jersey City, New Jersey, over the course of several hours on Tuesday afternoon.

The shooting began at Bayview Cemetery at around 12:30 p.m., when a police detective investigating a homicide approached the two suspects. One of the shooters opened fire, killing the detective, and then both fled to a nearby kosher deli and barricaded themselves inside.

An hourslong standoff ensued, and police found themselves up against a barrage of gunfire from “high-powered rifles,” Police Chief Mike Kelly later said at a press conference. “Our officers were under fire for hours.”

When the shooting ended, law enforcement entered the kosher deli and discovered five people dead inside — two of whom are presumed to be the shooters. Another two police officers were shot while exchanging gunfire with the suspects but have since been released from the hospital.

Kelly also said that investigators discovered a possible incendiary device inside a U-haul truck that the suspects had hijacked earlier and driven to the deli.

The shooting drew a massive police response, including SWAT teams and snipers positioned on nearby roofs. The NYPD’s elite Special Ops team and bomb squad also responded, as well as the FBI and ATF.

Some early reports suggested that at least one of the shooters was jumping from roof to roof. When asked, Chief Kelly wouldn’t confirm that particular detail but said “their movement was rapid and continuous for hours in that area.”

So far it’s not clear whether the shooters targeted the Kosher deli intentionally, and Kelly wouldn’t reveal any additional details about the suspects. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said earlier that there’s no indication that the shooting was an act of terrorism.

All 43 public schools in Jersey City were placed on lockdown Tuesday, including two schools on the block where the shooting took place: one private elementary school and a small Jewish school inside a synagogue.

“Just received a briefing on the horrific shootout that took place in Jersey City, NJ,” Trump tweeted. "Our thoughts & prayers are w/ the victims & their families during this very difficult & tragic time.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also said he’d been briefed on the shooting.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department, especially with the officers shot during this standoff,” Murphy wrote on Twitter, “and with the residents and schoolchildren currently under lockdown.”

New Jersey transit suspended rail and bus service in some parts of Jersey City in response to the shooting. The Federal Transit Administration also imposed a temporary flight restriction over the Jersey City area.

Cover: Police officers arrive at the scene following reports of gunfire, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Jersey City, N.J. AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

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