3 victims, attackers at ‘targeted’ Jersey City Jewish market identified
JERSEY CITY — The victims of a "targeted" attack on a Jewish food market on Tuesday included two people who moved to one of the state's most diverse cities seeking a better life for their families.
One was the 33-year-old wife of the store's owner — a mother of five and a member of one of the first Orthodox Jewish families from Brooklyn to set roots in Jersey City.
Another was a recent immigrant from Ecuador who was making a living by working at the kosher market.
Moments before the attackers pulled up in front of Hodanni's Grocery on Martin Luther King Boulevard and opened fire, Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals was fatally shot about a mile away near a cemetery on Garfield Avenue, officials said.
The two attackers also ended up dead, bringing the death total of the shooting spree to six — although the toll may have been far greater had police officers not already been in the neighborhood when gunfire erupted.
A hail of bullets pierced the windows of a Catholic elementary school across the street from the kosher market. Next door was a synagogue and a Jewish school, where students ducked for cover.
Authorities in New Jersey have not said what motivated the shooting but the mayor of New York City and the governor of New York have called it an anti-Semitic attack.
NBC 4 New York, citing law enforcement sources that they did not name, identified the suspects as David Anderson and Francine Graham.
The report said Anderson was a follower of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a sect of black people who believe that they, and not Jews, are the descendants of ancient Israelites. The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the group as a black supremacist hate group.
NBC 4 New York says Anderson had shared online postings with anti-Jewish content.
During a news conference with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rabbi David Niederman — president of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn — identified the two Jewish victims as Moshe Deutsch, 24, and Mindel Ferencz, 33.
Niederman said that Ferencz was the wife of the owner of the grocery store and the mother of five. Ferencz's family was among the first to move from Brooklyn to Jersey City where a new Orthodox Jewish neighborhood is growing.
"She was a lady full of love for others and unfortunately her life was cut so short," Niederman said.
The rabbi described Deutsch as the son of Abraham Deutsch, a "pillar of the Williamsburg community." He said that Mosche organized a food drive that fed 2,000 families.
Williams Machazek, pastor at Iglesia Nueva Vida in Newark, told NorthJersey.com that store employee Miguel Jason Rodriguez, who moved to the United States from Ecuador three years ago, also was killed.
Jersey City Officers Ray Sanchez and Farinella Fernandez were released from the hospital Tuesday after being injured by gunfire.
The New Jersey PBA warned against fake GoFundMe pages. An official effort will be announced soon by the PBA and the Jersey City POBA.
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