One of the suspects involved in Tuesday’s gun battle in Jersey City that left six people dead posted antisemitic and anti-police posts on social media, local officials said on Wednesday.
Investigators believe the attack was motivated by those sentiments, a law enforcement official familiar with the case told The New York Times on Wednesday.
Later on Wednesday, the suspects were named as David Anderson and Francine Graham. According to NBC New York, Anderson was a “one-time follower of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement.”
The developments came after Jersey City officials, including Mayor Steve Fulop, revealed that the kosher supermarket where most of the carnage took place had been “deliberately targeted,” though initial reports on Tuesday did not mention antisemitism as a motive.
Last night after extensive review of our CCTV system it has now become clear from the cameras that these two individuals targeted the Kosher grocery location on MLK Dr – the 2 JCPD officers that were on a foot post one block away immediately responded/engaged till unclear was the connection between the supermarket incident and an earlier shooting at a cemetery in another part of Jersey City.
Police said on Tuesday night that the suspected assailants killed Officer Joseph Seals in the cemetery in the city of 270,000 people, which is located across the Hudson River from Manhattan, before driving a U-Haul truck to the kosher market, where three Jews — two of whom have been identified as Leah Mindel Ferencz, 33, and Moshe Deutsch, 24 — were shot dead.
Anderson and Graham died at the kosher market in an exchange of fire with police.