Officials: Jersey City shooters could have targeted yeshiva with students inside

New Jersey
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. — After two suspected shooters took aim at a Jewish Market in Jersey City Tuesday, killing a police officer and three innocent people, the city’s mayor called the attack a hate crime and said it could have been much worse.

David Anderson and Francine Graham were seen on surveillance video walking up to the kosher market with large rifles and opening fire, images that now haunt the city’s diverse community.

“I feel 100% comfortable in saying that it’s a hate and domestic terrorism…when more and more information comes out over the next few days, I think it’s going to be very apparent that they had intent of murdering more than three people,” Mayor Steven Fulop said Thursday morning at a news conference.

Investigators discovered anti-Semitic writings on Anderson’s social media account and believe the 47-year-old man, who sources told PIX11 once served in the U.S. Army, was linked to a fringe religious hate movement.

“We are working to learn more about the shooters’ motivations, and whether anyone besides the two gunmen may have been involved,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Wednesday.

The New York Post reported Anderson left behind a handwritten hate-filled note in the stolen U-Haul van the duo drove up to the market Tuesday, writing that his “creator” made him do it.

The FBI confirmed Wednesday a pipe bomb was found in the van the duo used.

Officials are looking into whether the duo intended to inflict even more damage and bloodshed. Right next door to the market was a synagogue yeshiva with 40 students inside at the time of the attack, officials said.

“They pulled up on this block, they went into that store…right next door were another 40, children. So, it’s horrifying to think, had they just went left instead of right into the doorway,” Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea said at a news conference Thursday morning.

The pair gunned down three people in the market after killing Detective Joe Seals, who reportedly confronted them at a nearby cemetery about their U-Haul, which has been linked to an Uber driver’s murder in Bayonne, New Jersey, last weekend.

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