JCPD cops hailed as heroes: He was shot, she risked it all to rescue him
JERSEY CITY — "They shot the cop, yo. They shot the cop," the man behind the camera says in disbelief.
Officer Raymond Sanchez struggles on the sidewalk with nothing but the thin frame of a sedan between him and a fusillade of bullets firing from across the street.
Sgt. Marjorie Jordan springs from around the corner. Crouched down, she races toward her colleague and suddenly he's no longer alone.
Jordan helps the injured officer back onto this feet and leads him to safety as deafening blasts of gunfire reverberate in the street.
The video clip — just 17 seconds in a shootout that lasted four hours earlier this month — is an inspiring moment in one of the most horrifying episodes in Jersey City's history.
On Sunday, Jordan was honored by the Jersey City Chapter of the NAACP. Not only for her heroism on Dec. 10 but also for her service to the community throughout the year.
“God carries me all the time when I put on that uniform,” Jordan was quoted by The Jersey Journal as saying at the event. “I leave the locker room and I ask God to protect me and every night when I’m out on the streets in the South District.”
Also on Sunday, Sanchez was presented with an award for heroism during a menorah lighting Hanukkah celebration outside the kosher market in Jersey City.
A store clerk, a store owner and a religious student were killed by two armed attackers who stormed the JC Kosher Supermarket moments after fatally shooting Detective Joseph Seals about a mile away. Days earlier, authorities believe the gunmen had killed a cab driver in Bayonne. The shooters were killed in the kosher market during the gun battle with police.
Federal authorities are investigating the incident as an act of domestic terrorism. Although state and federal authorities have been slow to ascribe motives to the shooters — both of whom were black and one of whom was linked to a black nationalist movement — city leaders said they believe the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism and that a neighboring Jewish school might also have been a target. A pipe bomb was in their truck.
Authorities have said that the quick actions of the police officers that day saved more lives on a block where schoolchildren in a Catholic school were also in the line of fire.
“Without that response immediately from those police officers — immediately and heroically, I believe — the streets were filled with people and the schools surrounding them were filled with people," Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea said shortly after the incident. "With the amount of ammunition they had, we have to assume they would’ve continued attacking.”
As the gunmen opened fire on the street immediately after getting out of their U-Haul truck, police in the neighborhood rushed to the scene.
Sanchez was among the first officers there, trapping the gunmen in the store. He was shot right away.
"The heroics of Sergeant Jordan and this officer were played out throughout the ordeal by dozens of officers," the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association said after the incident. "We work with some courageous men and women. They fearlessly confronted evil by running into gunfire to stop killers who wanted to kill dozens more. On that terrible day in #JerseyCity we witnessed amazing courage and bravery. They represent the best of who we are."
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.