Officials have named the four victims and two suspects who died during at a cemetery and a kosher grocery store in Jersey City. The victims include a community leader in Brooklyn, an employee of the deli and "a caring and nurturing mother" of three.
The incident began at the Bay View Cemetery, where police stopped 47-year-old David Anderson and 50-year-old Francine Graham. Detective Joseph Seals, a 13-year veteran of the force and father of five, was killed at the cemetery before the pair fled. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop called him a "true hero."
"We cried with the family. It's one of the hardest things you have to see in your entire life," Fulop said. "Nobody expected, I'm sure, Detective Seals not to return home. I'm sure his children expected him to return home."
Officials said Anderson and Graham then moved to a kosher deli, where 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, 31-year-old Mindel Ferencz, and 49-year-old Douglas Miguel Rodríguez were shopping. All three were killed.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that Deutsch was the son of a "well-known community leader in Williamsburg." The United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn said he "was dedicated to studying his Jewish faith" and "followed in his father's footsteps and devoted his spare time and energy to help organize the UJO Passover food distribution and many other acts of kindness."
Ferencz was described as "a caring and nurturing mother" of three children who relocated to Jersey City from Brooklyn, UJO said.
Rodríguez was an employee at the store where the shooting took place, CBS New York reported. The UJO wrote: "Our hearts also goes out to the family of the late Douglas Miguel Rodriguez Barzola, who left behind a wife and 11 years old daughter and a mother Ecuador. He was butchered brutally while working in the store and providing for his family. May he rest in peace."
Fulop said the shootout Tuesday was the result of a. The store is a central fixture to the Jewish Orthodox community that has been growing recently in Jersey City, which is across the Hudson River from New York City.
De Blasio said that as of Wednesday morning there were "no credible and specific threats against New York City," despite the state of high alert and an increased police presence in Jewish neighborhoods. He called the incident a "premeditated anti-Semitic hate crime."
"In other words, you can say it was an act of terror," he said.
Neither the state attorney general nor any other law enforcement authority has confirmed the suspects targeted Jews. City Public Safety Director James Shea has said there was no indication of terrorism.
De Blasio, however, said, "There is a crisis of anti-Semitism gripping this nation."
"There is a crisis of anti-Semitism in this city. It has continued to take on a more violent form all over this country, and now we have seen this extraordinary, extreme form of violence reach the doorstep of New York City. And we have to take that as a warning sign. We have to understand — as I've heard from many members of the Jewish community — that people are now living in constant fear," he said.
The mayor also announced a new hate crime unit inside the New York City Police Department's intelligence bureau called REME, which stands for racially and ethnically motivated extremism. The unit was started in early September after a succession of violent hate crimes nationwide over the summer, according to John Miller, deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism for the NYPD.
Don Dahler contributed to this report.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the victims and to correct the spelling of several names based on new information from officials.