JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Family and colleagues said their final goodbyes Tuesday to slain Detective Joseph Seals, fatally shot by the suspects in last week’s hate-fueled shooting rampage in Jersey City.
A motorcade of officers from departments across the region led the way St. Aedan’s Church on Bergen Avenue. Bagpipes and drums played as Seals’ casket was carried into the sanctuary by his brothers in blue. His wife, Laura, sobbed outside the church, as the couple’s five children followed her inside.
Seals, 40, was a dedicated member of the force who ultimately gave his life to protect and serve the public. He began his career in law enforcement in 2001 at the Hudson County Corrections Department. He got a job with the Jersey City Police Department in 2005.
“I worked at the South Precinct with Officer Seals for several years,” said retired Jersey City Police Officer Charles Casserly. “A very reserved fellow, a true gentleman. I never heard an unpleasant word come out of his mouth.”
The detective was shot and killed in Bay View Cemetery last Tuesday, where sources said he was meeting with an informant when he happened upon a van with two armed suspects inside. Soon after, the suspects carried out a hate-fueled attack on a Jewish market in Jersey City last Tuesday, Dec. 10. that left three other innocent victims dead.
Seals is the 35th Jersey City officer to die in line of duty.
Seals was born in Jersey City and graduated from Bayonne High School in 1997. He was promoted to the role of Detective in 2017 and joined the Cease Fire Unit of the JCPD.
To help his wife and family in this difficult time, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation paid off their mortgage. Strangers have also been reaching out to help the family, raising over $500,000 in the last week through crowdfunding sites.
The flag that draped Seals’ coffin was folded and given to his wife, who clutched it as she left the church in tears with her two sons on either side. One was dressed in a junior police uniform.