The two suspects in the Jersey City shooting that left one detective and three civilians dead, and two other police officers and one other civilian injured, have been identified as David Anderson and Francine Graham, NBC News reports.
According to various reports, Anderson and Graham targeted JC Kosher Supermarket because it’s a Jewish establishment. Allegedly, multiple anti-Semitic posts were found of Anderson’s social media pages.
Security footage showed Anderson and Graham traveling slowly through the streets in a U-Haul van on Tuesday, before stopping outside of the store armed with long guns and immediately opening fire, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said at a news conference on Wednesday morning.
“We now know this did not begin with gunfire between police officers and perpetrators and then move to the store,” Public Safety Director James Shea, the brother of NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, said. “It began with an attack on the civilians inside the store.”
As ESSENCE previously reported, all public schools in Jersey City were locked down as local, state, and federal teams conducted investigations.
According to various reports, Anderson is affiliated with the Black Hebrew Israelites, originally named the Original African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem, a religious group that believes itself to be descended from an ancient tribe in Israel. The SPLC has designated BHI a hate group, with extremists (not to be conflated with the entire religious group) within the sect having a long list of enemies, including: white people or Edomites, “fraudulent Jews,” LGBTQ communities, and continental Africans, whom they believe sold Black Israelites to European slave traders.
“There were multiple other people on the streets,” Shea said. “There were many other targets available to them that they bypassed to attack that place. So it was, clearly, that was their target, and they intended to harm people inside there.”
Trigger Warning: Gunfire. Profanity. Militarized police forces.
Jersey City detective Joseph Seals, the only victim thus far to be identified, was reportedly investigating a murder when one of the suspects shot him in the head in Bayview Cemetery, NJ.com reports.