Sources say police now believe Tuesday's shootout in Jersey City, NJ, was motivated by anti-Semitism, reports the New York Times. One of the deceased attackers had posted anti-Semitic and anti-police statements online, a law enforcement official tells the outlet. The official says a short but "rambling" note was found inside the rental van used by the man and woman who allegedly targeted a kosher supermarket in a Hasidic neighborhood, but says it didn't spell out a motive. The Times' source gives their names as David Anderson and Francine Graham and says Anderson had an alleged connection to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has dubbed a hate group. Jersey City police officer Joe Seals, a father of five, was the first to be killed while confronting the suspects at a cemetery.
The assailants next drove slowly and deliberately to the market a mile away, according to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. They ignored people on the street before aiming two long rifles inside, he said Wednesday, per the Times. Two of the three victims there have been identified by locals as 33-year-old Mindel Ferencz, the wife of the market owner, and 24-year-old Moshe Deutch, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn. Fulop said the death toll likely would've been higher had two police officers not happened to be a block away and able to respond immediately, per NPR, which reports both officers were injured by gunfire. The city's public safety director, James Shea, wouldn't confirm a link to anti-Semitism Wednesday, saying "the motives are still part of the investigation." (Read more New Jersey stories.)