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FBI seeks photos and video related to mass shooting in Jersey City

After the deadly mass shooting at a Kosher supermarket in Jersey City was labeled domestic terrorism, the FBI created a web page for the submission of photos and videos that could contain information relevant to the crimes.

“We live in a technological era where people capture information without even realizing it,” said Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie. “We have long said that members of the public—who say something when they see something—are a force multiplier in our efforts to deter and fight crime. We ask your assistance, now, in our effort to determine as much as we can about what happened on December 10th in Jersey City, so that calm can be restored to those traumatized by the events.”

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Members of the public are asked to submit media at fbi.gov/jerseycity. Submissions will remain with the FBI and will not be shared. The owner can provide as much information as he or she is comfortable providing.

Mass shooting

The Dec. 10 shooting at a Kosher supermarket in Jersey City’s Greenville neighborhood is being investigated as domestic terrorism, according to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

“We believe the suspects held views that reflected hatred of the Jewish people as well as law enforcement,” Grewal said, noting that the two suspects identified as David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, targeted only the JC Kosher Supermarket at 223 Martin Luther King Drive, the people inside it, and responding officers, not passersby.

Authorities said evidence indicates the two suspects were acting alone and were not part of a larger network or plot when they killed Detective Joseph Seals at Bay View Cemetery before driving a white U-Haul van outfitted with ballistic panels to the Kosher supermarket, on Dec. 10.

At approximately 12:21, Anderson exited the car with a long rifle and began firing on the store, at which point both Anderson and Graham entered the store.

Three citizens were killed in the attack, including Mindy Ferencz, 32; Douglas Rodriguez, 49; and Moshe Deutsch, 24. A fourth person who was in the store was shot but escaped and survived.

Two Jersey City police officers who were one block south on patrol heard the shots and arrived at the scene and began to engage with the suspects, as the suspects opened fire at the police.

The standoff ended after an armored police vehicle broke through the front of the store and police entered the building.

The incident came to an end at approximately 3:47 p.m.

“There’s no question it was an attack on the Jewish community,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, noting that the suspects bypassed other targets before firing upon the Kosher supermarket which abuts a synagogue and yeshiva. The yeshiva had an estimated 50 to 70 children inside.

According to the AG, law enforcement is still trying to determine why the suspects killed Det. Seals and why they selected the JC Kosher Supermarket as a target.

Fulop said he believes the true target could have been the yeshiva.

According to Grewal, “a tremendous amount of firepower” was recovered at the scene, including five firearms from the supermarket, all linked to the deceased suspects, including an AR-15, a 12-gauge shotgun, a 9 mm Ruger semi-automatic, a 9 mm Glock 17, and a 22 Ruger Mark IV with a homemade silencer and homemade device for catching bullet casings, as well as a pipe bomb, which was inside the van.

Ehrie of the FBI called the device sophisticated but not complicated. He would not comment on what else was found in the van.

Various media outlets have reported that the van contained a manifesto written by the suspects, but Grewal said they have “not discovered anything we would characterize as a manifesto at this point.”

He did confirm there was a handwritten note but would not reveal its contents.

He did say that they had identified various social media accounts that “expose certain viewpoints,” which they are authenticating, “but based on what has been collected so far, including witness interviews, the suspects reflect a hatred of Jewish people and a hatred of law enforcement.”

He also said that despite media reports, the suspects are not formally linked to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement but did show an interest in it.

The Black Hebrew Israelites, whose members claim to be the real descendants of the original Hebrews, are labeled as a black supremacist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The pair are also prime suspects in the death of Jersey City resident Michael Rumberger, 34, a livery driver whose body was found in the trunk of a Lincoln Town Car in Bayonne the previous weekend.

Law enforcement recovered another piece of evidence from the crime scene that led to the arrest of a felon connected to a New

Jersey pawnshop.

The FBI also recovered a white van, possibly connected to the Jersey City shooting, in Orange.

Lives lost  

Jersey City resident Leah Minda Ferencz owned the JC Kosher Supermarket and leaves behind a loving husband, Moshe David, and three children.

The United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn (UJO) called her a “pioneer.”

“She and her husband were of the very first to relocate from Williamsburg, due to the skyrocketing prices of housing, to settle in Jersey City,” said a statement from the UJO. “They did not do it for themselves, but to pave the way for a new community that lives harmoniously with their neighbors. She was a caring and nurturing mother for her three children, and at the same time helped her husband who ran the first Kosher grocery in the area, to ensure that the community’s families have [some]where to shop and feed their children.”

The grocery that was their source of income now stands destroyed, raked by bullets and missing its facade.

The school across the street bears the scars of the firefight, too. Bullet holes pierce the windows leaving web-like cracks on several panes.

Douglas “Miguel” Rodriguez worked in the store and moved to the United States from Equador.

He leaves behind a wife and young daughter.

According to Fulop, who met with his family last week, Miguel’s wife Martha “has already forgiven the shooters.”

“It is hard to do she said, but she won’t let them create hate in her,” Fulop said. “She is a strong woman.”

Moshe Deutsch, of Brooklyn, was in the store reportedly buying a sandwich when the attack happened. He leaves behind a devastated loving family and community of friends.

According to the UJO, Deutsh was dedicated to studying his Jewish faith every day “by learning in a Yeshiva he was instrumental in establishing and getting off the ground.”

“He was extremely kind and generous and was the go-to person when his peers needed help,” said the UJO, which noted his father, Abe Deutsch, is a member of its board.

Moshe also helped organize the UJO Passover food distribution, according to the organization.

“The community lost a promising, upcoming charitable person who was spreading love and kindness,” reads a statement by the UJO.”He was butchered by people filled with poisonous animosity,”

Detective Joseph Seals, 40, was assigned to the city’s Cease-fire Unit on the city’s South District.

He grew up in Bayonne and went to Bayonne High School. He leaves behind a wife and five children.

According to Fulop, he was a leading police officer in removing guns from the street during his 15 years in service to the city.

In 2008 on Christmas Eve, Seals and another officer climbed a fire escape, burst through the window of a home, and stopped a sexual assault on a 41-year-old women.

He later received a citation for heroism.

Jersey City resident and father of two Michael Rumberger, 34, was a livery driver whose body was found in the trunk of a Lincoln Town Car near 17th Street and John F Kennedy Boulevard in Bayonne on Dec. 7.

The cause and manner of death are pending an investigation by the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office. Authorities have not released any details on what happened to Rumberger because  the investigation is ongoing.

Donate carefully

U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Craig Carpenito warned residents of online scams in which people posing as relatives of the victims have posted phony GoFundMe pages to illicit donations in an attempt to profit from the tragedy.

Several legitimate GoFundMe accounts have been set up for the victims.

A site set up on behalf of Det. Seals’s family can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/for-det-seals-and-his-family

A site set up for Rodriguez can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/douglas-rodriguez-victim-of-the-jc-shooting

A site set up on behalf of Forencz family can be found at https://www.charidy.com/jcvictims

A site set up on behalf of Rumberger can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-me-give-my-dad-the-proper-burial

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.


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