At least one police officer has reportedly been shot by suspects at a Jersey City bodega in what is being described as an active shooter incident. Unnamed officials tell the NY Times that an officer was shot in the shoulder by multiple gunmen. [UPDATE: Officials confirmed the officer was killed, and reports say that three civilians, and the shooters, were also killed. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop also said it appeared the Kosher market where the civilians were killed had been targeted. More below]
The Jersey Journal reports that two gunmen opened fire on police and people from a building on Martin Luther King Drive near Bidwell Avenue around 12:50 p.m. Tuesday. They write: "Police said in radio transmission that the gunmen are shooting at anyone they see on the street, and has fired at the Sacred Heart School. One police officer heard in a radio transmission said that every time a police officer moves toward the shooter, gunfire comes from a window at them."
ABC reports that officers were responding to a call of two suspects at the bodega when the shooting started. They add that the shooters have "long guns."
Jersey City Board of Education president Sudhan Thomas said that twelve schools in the area are currently on lockdown while police respond.
Update, 2:30 p.m.: NBC is now reporting that a police officer has been shot in the head during the shooting. A law enforcement source described the attack to them as an "ambush," and said at least one man was holed up in a bodega with a long gun. Officials also told them it appears the suspect or suspects arrived at the scene in a truck.
NJ Governor Murphy gave this statement on the shooting: "I have been briefed on the unfolding situation in Jersey City. 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. 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."
Update, 3:30 p.m.: The Times is now reporting that at least two officers have been wounded in the ongoing shootout. NJ.com described the shooters as "a man and a woman" who were dressed in black. "They arrived in the area in a U-Haul van, each carrying long guns into the supermarket," they wrote, adding that “pipe bombs” have been found in their U-Haul.
Update, 3:45 p.m.: It's now been confirmed that one officer has been killed, and two other officers and one civilian have been struck by gunfire during the incident. Mayor Steven Fulop told reporters that there were multiple people dead inside the bodega as well. Officials told the Times that the dead included three people in the store as well as two suspected shooters.
Law enforcement officials told NBC that the shootout began as a homicide investigation: "The deceased officer approached suspects in that investigation and was shot and killed. The suspects then fled into the bodega, where the standoff started."
Update, 6 p.m.: The slain officer has been identified as Detective Joe Seals, a longtime veteran with the Jersey City Police Department and a father of five.
Update, December 11, 6:44 a.m.: Mayor Fulop Tweeted that officials believe the shooters specifically targeted the store:
The market is located in the Greenville section of the city, which has has seen a growth in Orthodox Jewish families who have been priced out of Williamsburg.