Police cleared in 2019 fatal shootout at Jersey City, NJ market
TRENTON – A state grand jury declined to indict any of the police officers who shot and killed two people who had killed a Jersey City police detective and three people inside a kosher market nearly two years ago.
The testimony and evidence from the investigation were presented by state prosecutors to a grand jury in accordance with a 2019 state law that applies to all fatal police encounters. The grand jury voted “no bill” on Monday, meaning a majority found the actions of the officers justified.
On Dec. 10, 2019, David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, killed Police Detective Joseph Seals in Bay View Cemetery in Jersey City.
A short time later, the couple parked a white U-Haul van across Martin Luther King Drive from the JC Kosher Supermarket. Anderson exited the van with a rifle and began shooting. They entered the store and killed three people: Mindy Ferencz, 31, Douglas Miguel “Miguel” Rodriguez Barzola, 49, and Moshe Deutsch, 24.
When officers responded to the shooting, a three-hour firefight ensued. Two officers were shot but survived. The standoff ended around 20 minutes after a police armored vehicle broke through the entryway to the supermarket.
Thirteen police officers fired their weapons at Anderson and Graham, including 12 from the Jersey City Police Department and one from the Newark Police Department.
The Attorney General’s Office said the grand jury found the actions of the officers were justified. Officers may use deadly force when they reasonably believe it is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.
Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.