Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said he believed the shooters who killed three people in a kosher supermarket on Tuesday were actually targeting a yeshiva next door to the store.
“My job is different than the people that are doing the investigation,” Fulop told the Jewish Week Friday. “I do my best to say it how I see it.”
Fulop, who is Jewish, said he based his belief on CCTV videos of the shooter entering the kosher market.
Asked by The Jewish Week how he determined that the shooters’ intended target was the yeshiva next to the kosher store, Fulop cited the locations of the store and yeshiva and the large cache of weapons that the shooters brought in their vehicle.
“It’s very, very clear that the perpetrator first doesn’t go directly to the deli, he goes toward the door adjacent to it, the building and the doors adjacent to it are the yeshiva…he brought a pipe bomb and he brought 5 guns and hundreds of bullets…we know that he drove deliberately to that location,” said Fulop. “You put all things together, it’s hard to come to any other conclusion.”
On the day the shooting took place, Fulop seemed to indicate that the shooters targeted the kosher supermarket and by Wednesday, he called the shooting a hate crime. On Thursday, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced that the matter was being investigated “potential acts of domestic terrorism fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs.”
Fulop originally tweeted his assertion that the shooters were targeting the yeshiva on Friday morning. “My opinion is that as more info comes out it’ll become increasingly clear that the target was the 50 children at the Yeshiva attached to that store. We will never know 100% but the doorway to the yeshiva was 3 feet away + it seems he goes in that direction 1st,” the mayor wrote in the tweet. During the police shootout on Tuesday afternoon with the shooters, students at the yeshiva sheltered in place. All Jersey City schools were placed on lockdown during the shooting.
The shooters, killed in the standoff with police inside the kosher market, were identified as David Anderson and Francine Graham. The victims inside the store were Leah Mindel Ferencz, Moshe Deutsch, and Miguel Jason Rodriguez. The shooters are also alleged to have killed a police officer, Detective Joseph Seals, before driving to the kosher market.