JERSEY CITY, N.J.— Six people were killed, including a police officer, during a shootout in Jersey City Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
Detective Joseph Seals, 39, was shot and killed in the shootout, officials said. Seals had 15 years experience as an officer and was a married father of five.
Five other people were found dead inside of a nearby kosher supermarket. Officials believe at this time in the investigation that three of them are civilians, and two of them are “bad guys,” according to Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly
Two officers were injured in the shooting, Kelly said; one of the injured officers was shot in the shoulder, while another sustained an injury to the body.
Early reports said a civilian was also injured.
The shooting happened in the vicinity of Martin Luther King Drive near Bayview Avenue. SWAT teams and federal agents responded to the scene, and police blocked off the major thoroughfare. Loud volleys of gunfire were heard at regular intervals.
Video shows a line of police officers armed with weapons pointed in several directions walking down the sidewalk.
Authorities tell PIX11 at least one suspect fired shots from Bay View Cemetery before heading to a nearby supermarket, where a standoff ensued.
There’s no indication this shooting is connected to terrorism, officials said. Hours after the shooting, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said “we now believe the active shooters targeted the location they attacked.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) division in Newark confirmed their agents responded to the reports of an active shooter. The FBI was also on the scene, and asked the public to stay away from the area of MLK Drive near the light rail station as well as Bay View Cemetery.
Jersey City schools were on lockdown, with about 30,000 students impacted, according to Franklin Walker, Superintendent of Jersey City Public Schools. All students and staff were safe, officials said in a tweet. An official said schools planned to systematically release locked down schools at 4:15 p.m. By 5 p.m., reunions between kids and parents had begun at some schools.
Jersey City Medical Center has also been put on lockdown to protect patients, families and employees in response to the active situation. Everyone inside the hospital is safe, authorities said.
The New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association also tweeted: “We need a lot of prayers right now for Jersey City officers. Keep all those involved in your thoughts.”
NYPD Special Operations officers have responded to Jersey City to assist law enforcement.
No one is in custody in connection with the shooting, according to a law enforcement official.
Amid the incident, several traffic and transit routes were impacted.
Exit ramps on the New Jersey Turnpike at interchange 14B were closed. Martin Luther King Drive from Woodlawn to Claremont avenues was closed due to the police activity.
North Jersey buses operated on a detour in Jersey City, the agency tweeted. Service to Hoboken used MLK Drive, Fulton, Culver, West Side and Monticello avenues as well as JFK Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue.
Hudson Bergen Light Rail Bayonne Branch Service was suspended in both directions between Liberty State Park and 8th Street due to ongoing local police activity. Shuttle bus service between Liberty State Park and West Side Avenue was also suspended.
All schools in nearby Bayonne, New Jersey, were “in a shelter-in-place as a precaution due to police activity and investigation in Jersey City,” according to a tweet from the Bayonne Board of Education.
Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted that he has been briefed in the situation and that his “thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department, especially with the officers shot during this standoff, and with the rest of the residents and schoolchildren currently under lockdown.”
I have been briefed on the unfolding situation in Jersey City. Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department, especially with the officers shot during this standoff, and with the residents and schoolchildren currently under lockdown.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) December 10, 2019
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted a message for parents: “We still have an active scene but all the schools in the area are secure and all children are accounted for. We will provide more information later.”
The White House tweeted that President Donald Trump has been briefed about the incident.
Trump later addressed the deadly shootout it in a tweet.
Just received a briefing on the horrific shootout that took place in Jersey City, NJ. Our thoughts & prayers are w/ the victims & their families during this very difficult & tragic time. We will continue to monitor the situation as we assist local & state officials on the ground.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019
Associated Press contributed to this report.