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NJ AG: Shooting Response Task Force Continues Multi-Agency Investigation into Jersey City Shooting; Names, timeline released

In conjunction with federal, state, and county law enforcement partners, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal released new information regarding the shootings in Jersey City, including the identities of the two shooters and the three innocent civilian victims who were killed inside the supermarket. The identity of the fallen Jersey City detective, Joseph Seals, 39, was released previously by the Jersey City Police Department.

Two other Jersey City police officers were shot outside the market as they responded to the gunfire.  They are recovering from their wounds and their names are not being released.

During a news conference this afternoon at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office with Governor Phil Murphy and law enforcement leaders, Attorney General Grewal released the followed details regarding the December 10 shooting in Jersey City:

  • It is believed that, at some point before 12:21 p.m., two individuals encountered and killed Detective Joseph Seals in the Bay View Cemetery in Jersey City. The prime suspects in this murder are:
    • David N. Anderson, age 47, DOB 10/20/72
    • Francine Graham, age 50, DOB 4/28/69
  • At approximately 12:21 p.m., Anderson parked a white U-Haul van directly across the street from the JC Kosher Supermarket at 223 Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City. Graham was a passenger in the van.
  • Within seconds of parking the van, Anderson exited the driver’s side door with a rifle in his hand. He walked towards the JC Kosher Supermarket and began shooting. Graham also exited the vehicle and entered the store as well. Anderson and Graham remained in the store for the entirety of the incident.
  • Officers near the scene responded within minutes of the start of the shooting and took incoming gunfire from the suspects.
  • Four civilians were shot, three of whom died. The survivor, whose name is not being released at this time, escaped the store shortly after the gunfire began. The deceased are:
    • Mindy Ferencz, age 31
    • Douglas Miguel “Miguel” Rodriguez, age 49
    • Moshe Deutsch, age 24
  • At approximately 12:38 p.m., the Jersey City Police Department received a 911 call from an individual who discovered the body of Detective Seals at Bayview Cemetery.
  • At approximately 12:43 p.m., Jersey City Police Department officers arrived with a police armored vehicle in the vicinity of the JC Kosher Supermarket and engaged with the two suspects. A protracted shootout followed.
  • At approximately 3:25 p.m., the police armored vehicle broke through the entryway of the supermarket.
  • At approximately 3:47 p.m., the law enforcement incident ended and officers found the bodies inside.
  • As soon as the shootout ended, law enforcement began processing the scene, which included a significant number of shell casings. Among the items seized by law enforcement is a pipe bomb, which has been sent to the FBI’s laboratory in Quantico for analysis.

The Attorney General’s Office noted that investigators have obtained digital and documentary evidence that is being reviewed for indications about the suspects’ possible motives.  He declined to comment on the shooters’ motives, indicating that investigators are not in a position at this time to say definitively why the suspects decided to stop in front of the supermarket and begin firing.

The Attorney General’s Office confirmed that Anderson and Graham were prime suspects in the murder of Michael Rumberger in Bayonne, which is being investigated by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

Attorney General Grewal urged anyone with information about the shootings in Jersey City to call the New Jersey State Police at (609) 963-6900.

At the news conference, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito warned that con artists have set up fraudulent GoFundMe webpages and are soliciting contributions on behalf of the victims.  He and the Attorney General urged members of the public to be vigilant about such scams and report them to authorities.

The investigation by the Shooting Response Task Force, which includes investigators from the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability and the New Jersey State Police Homicide Unit, is active and ongoing.  It is being conducted in cooperation with federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

 

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