JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Six people, including a New Jersey police officer, were killed in an hourslong standoff and shootout in a Jersey City convenience store Tuesday, Mayor Steven Fulop said.
The shootings unfolded in a cemetery and the convenience store near the Sacred Heart School.
Of the six people who died, one was a married 39-year-old police officer with five kids, reported Fox News. The others killed included two of the three suspects in the case, as well as three civilians.
The third suspect, described as a 6-foot-tall black male wearing all black clothing, was in police custody.
The circumstances of the shootout remained uncertain and the situation forced every public school in Jersey City into lockdown mode. The FBI was assisting Jersey City police.
— NYC Blue Lives Photographer (@bluelivesphoto) December 10, 2019
“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,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “I have every confidence in our law enforcement professionals to ensure the safety of the community and resolve this situation.”
All students and staff are safe however a number of schools are currently on locked down due to pollution activity.
— JCPS District (@jcps_district) December 10, 2019
Loud volleys of gunfire could be heard at regular intervals but subsided around 2 p.m. in the city, which is just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, according to Fox.
The violence brought dozens of bystanders who pressed against police barriers to voyeuristically film the action on cellphones, while hooting when gunfire bursts were heard.
Andy Patel, who works at a liquor store about three blocks from the site of the shooting, said there had been consistent gunfire fire for about an hour Tuesday afternoon.
“I can hear the gunshots. It’s like firecrackers going off. They were shooting like crazy about an hour ago. Then it stopped for like 20 or 30 minutes. The cops were clearing everyone off the streets,” said Patel.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the shooting and was monitoring it.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was responding. The New York Police Department sent emergency services personnel, and the forces counterterrorism unit was monitoring the situation.
Several local schools were placed on lockdown while the situation is ongoing, officials said. Jersey City Public Schools tweeted “all students and staff are safe.”