Jersey City cop, victims shot dead as gunfire erupts near school
UPDATE, 6:10 p.m.: Six people are dead in Jersey City, including Detective Joseph Seals, a married father of five. The latest information released by city authorities is here.
JERSEY CITY — A police officer was shot dead and three more cops and a civilian were injured in a shooting early Tuesday afternoon, officials said. Authorities said multiple people were later found dead in a store.
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the ongoing armed standoff at a kosher market across the street from a Catholic elementary school and next to Jewish school.
Police were surrounding a U-Haul truck and the store on Martin Luther King Drive where as many as two armed people opened fire this afternoon.
After 3 p.m., prosecutors confirmed the death of one of the officers. The other victims were in stable condition. One of the surviving officers was shot in the shoulder while two others received shrapnel wounds.
Police on the scene reported just after 3:30 p.m. that five people were found dead inside the store. That, however, was not immediately confirmed by prosecutors.
Mayor Steven Fulop said Tuesday afternoon that there was no indication so far that the incident was related to terrorism.
New York Police Department sent a bomb and special tactical unit to the scene. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says it is responding. Police on the scene were concerned about possible explosives in the U-Haul.
The shooting was reported near Bidwell and Bayview avenues. Gunshots were still ringing out about 2 p.m. although it was not clear who was shooting.
Police radio transmissions said the shooter was firing from the store toward Sacred Heart School across the street. Officers on the scene reported seeing a gunman through the windows of the storefront.
At 2:10 p.m., police on the scene said that they believed that two suspects in the store had been shot but they could still see movement in the building.
Police were asking school officials to make sure that all students and staff were moved to the opposite end of the school building. Officers also were in the building, according to police radio transmissions.
The Jersey City school district placed all schools on lockdown as the standoff continued. Officials planned to begin releasing students after 4:15 p.m.
Police also were asking school officials in the city to ask parents not to call police to seek updates on the situation.
Residents also were being told to stay away from their windows.
Police were hiding behind vehicles and securing neighboring rooftops.
The state's largest police union asked the public for prayers.
Gov. Phil Murphy said he was being briefed on the unfolding situation.
"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," Murphy said in a written statement before 2:30 p.m.
"I have every confidence in our law enforcement professionals to ensure the safety of the community and resolve this situation. Today reminds us of their bravery and the sacrifices they, and their families, make for our communities."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.