Wife of deadly Jersey City attack victim says she forgives shooters
JERSEY CITY — The wife of one of the victims of two shooters who killed a cop and shot up a Jewish market on Tuesday says she has forgiven the people who killed her husband.
"I am praying and I have forgiven those who have created this action," said Martha Friere, whose husband Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49, was among three people shot to death Tuesday afternoon at JC Kosher Supermarket by David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50.
Also killed were the wife of the store owner, Mindy Ferencz, 31, and religious student Moshe Deutsch, 24, of Brooklyn.
Moments earlier about a mile away, the pair shot and killed 39-year-old police Detective Joseph Seals at the Bay View Cemetery on Garfield Avenue.
At least two other officers and a fourth person in the store were injured by gunfire. The gunmen were killed in a shootout with police.
Gov. Phil Murphy ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half staff at all state buildings and facilities for a week starting today through Friday, Dec. 20 in recognition of the victims.
Rodriquez worked at the kosker market and moved to New Jersey when he lost his job as a commercial engineer, Friere told NJ.com.
A GoFundMe page created by his niece said Rodriquez would be laid to rest in his native Ecuador. Donations will be applied towards his funeral as well as "the continued support of his wife and daughter which includes housing, education and other expenses."
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Thursday said that the FBI is taking the lead in the investigation, which is considered a possible domestic terror event.
The FBI has created a page for photos and video of the shooting captured by the public to be uploaded.
"We live in a technological era where people capture information without realizing it. We have long said that members of the pubic who say something when they see something are a force multiplier in our efforts to deter and fight crime," Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie said in a statement.
Grewal and other state officials — including Murphy — had initially urged caution against assuming the attacks with motivated by anti-Semitism in the days since the attacks, though Jersey City and New York officials had said they believed that was the case.
For the first time, state officials on Thursday acknowledged they were aware of social media posts that appeared to be by the shooters, espousing hate against Jews and police. They also acknowledged reports by several media outlets, attributing unnamed law enforcement, tying the shooters to the Black Hebrew Israelites movement — a group described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, and not accepted by mainstream Jewish movements. Black Hebrew Israelite groups also reject mainstream groups as truly Jewish.
Grewal said there was evidence the shooters "expressed interest in the group," but no formal links between the shooters and the movement have been established.
The Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s offices in Ocean County on Thursday jointly announced that authorities would increase the presence of law enforcement throughout the county to “ensure the safety of all of our residents” although there is no specific or credible threat. Lakewood has one of the largest Jewish populations in the state.
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