Tuesday afternoon’s four-hour long deadly shootout in Jersey Cityleft six dead, including a veteran police officer, three innocent victims and the two suspected gunmen, according to officials. We’re now starting to learn more about the victims in the tragic shooting.
Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals, on the force for 15 years, was the first victim identified in the shooting. Seals, 40, was a husband and father of five.
The officer worked with the city’s Cease Fire Unit and was the leading cop in removing guns from city streets, Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said. “Dozens and dozens of handguns, he is responsible for removing from the street,” Kelly said.
Seals was promoted to detective in the last few years, Kelly said. Before that, he worked in the South District, which has a high volume of crimes.
“Joe was somebody who was involved in city,” Mayor Steven Fulop said. “Officers in other precincts knew who he was because he was a good cop.”
The United Jewish Organizations identified two of the civilians who were killed during the shootout at the supermarket as Moshe Deutsch and Leah Mindel Ferencz.
Mindy Ferentz, 31, owned the JC Kosher Supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive with her husband. Together, they had three children. At her home today, loved ones were visibly distraught and unable to speak.
“I’m not ready,” said a man at the front door.
The couple moved to Jersey City from Williamsburg, Brooklyn to raise their family.
“They said lets move to Jersey City where it is affordable and open a grocery store,” said Rabbi David Niederman.
Moshe Hersh Deutsch, 24, was also killed inside the store. A photo taken of him last summer shows him doing what he loved, volunteering with a non-profit, Chai Lifeline.
“He volunteered many hours helping sick children,” said the organization’s director. “He was an energetic, happy, fun loving young man.”
Miguel Douglas, 49, a worker inside the store was also killed.
Deutsch, 24, is remembered as someone who was “dedicated to studying his Jewish faith everyday.” He was also the son of a boardmember of the organization, Abe Deutsch. “Moshe followed in his father’s footsteps and devoted his spare time and energy to help organize the UJO Passover food distribution and many other acts of kindness.”
In a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio also confirmed both Ferencz and Deutsch have ties to Brooklyn and New York City.
The third victim has not yet been identified.
Tuesday’s shootout started when police got initial reports of shots fired around 12:30 p.m., officials said. Det. Seals was soon after fatally shot at a scene on Garfield Avenue near a cemetery.
The suspects drove a stolen van to the Kosher grocery store at 223 Martin Luther King Drive where the shooting continued, officials said. Responding officers were immediately engaged by high power rifle fire.
Responding officers set up a perimeter at the store on Martin Luther King Drive where five people, including the two suspects, were killed, Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said.
It was hours before the suspected gunmen, both believed to be men, were killed.