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4 victims, including a police officer, in Jersey City shooting: officials

Posted at 1:28 PM, Dec 10, 2019

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Six people were killed, including a police officer, during a shootout in Jersey City, New Jersey, Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Detective Joseph Seals, 39, was shot and killed in the shootout, official said. Seals had 15 years experience as an officer , and was a married father of five.

Five other people were found dead inside of a nearby Jewish market . Officials believe at this time in the investigation that three of them are civilians, and two of them are "bad guys," according to Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly

Two officers were injured in the shooting, Kelly said; one of the injured officers was shot in the shoulder, another sustained an injury to the body.

Early reports said a civilian was also injured.

SWAT teams and federal agents have responded to the scene, and police have blocked off a major thoroughfare. Loud volleys of gunfire were heard at regular intervals. Video shows a line of police officers armed with weapons pointed in several directions walking down the sidewalk.

Authorities said at least one suspect fired shots from Bay View Cemetery before running into a nearby bodega, when a standoff ensued. Sources said there were two suspects in the shootout with police.

There's no indication this shooting is connected to terrorism, officials said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) division in Newark confirmed their agents are responding to reports of an active shooter. The FBI is also on the scene, and has asked the public to stay away from the area of MLK Drive near the light rail station as well as Bay View Cemetery.

Jersey City school were on lockdown, with about 30,000 students impacted, according to Franklin Walker, Superintendent of Jersey City Public Schools. All students and staff are safe, officials said in a tweet. An official said schools plan to systematically release locked down schools at 4:15 p.m. By 5 p.m., reunions between kids and parents had begun at some schools.

Jersey City Medical Center has also been put on lockdown to protect patients, families and employees in response to the active situation. Everyone inside the hospital is safe, authorities said.

The New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association also tweeted: "We need a lot of prayers right now for Jersey City officers. Keep all those involved in your thoughts."

NYPD Special Operations officers have responded to Jersey City to assist law enforcement.

Amid the incident, several traffic and transit routes have been impacted.

All schools in nearby Bayonne, New Jersey, were "in a shelter-in-place as a precaution due to police activity and investigation in Jersey City," according to a tweet from the Bayonne Board of Education.

Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted that he has been briefed in the situation and that his "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 rest of the residents and schoolchildren currently under lockdown."

President Donald Trump has also been briefed on the incident.

This story was originally published by WPIX in New York City. The Associated Press contributed to this report.