Officials investigating the shooting in a Jersey City kosher market are still searching for a motive but Mayor Steven Fulop suggested the incident could have been much worse had the shooters succeeded in entering their initial target: a school adjacent to the market.
“I feel 100 percent comfortable saying that it’s a hate crime and domestic terrorism and you know when more and more information comes out over the next few days I think it’s going to be very very apparent that had intent of murdering more than
three people,” Mayor Fulop said. “And had it not been for those officers responding immediately and pinning them inside that grocery store this would have been much worse.”
This suspicion was echoed by Jersey Public Safety Director James Shea who told reporters that the gunmen had a large quantity of ammunition and explosives.
Jersey Public Safety Director James Shea tells reporters that shooters planned to do a lot more damage. pic.twitter.com/ocMbooIkCf
— Rebecca Panico (@BeccaPanico) December 13, 2019
Even more disturbing was a tweet by Fulop in which he conjectured that the intended target was a yeshiva (religious school) attached to the market in which approximately 50 children were learning at the time of the attack.
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
— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) December 13, 2019
This claim seemed to be supported by a video which showed the shooters looking to enter the adjacent school.
You can see the turn in this new video as well.
The massacre – while horrific – could have been so much worse. The 50 children upstairs had their lives spared only through an act of G-d. pic.twitter.com/uSIkdRIu7d
— The Meturgeman (@DraftRyan2016) December 13, 2019
Though the shooting was indeed a tragedy leaving three dead in the store and an undercover cop murdered in a nearby cemetery, a shooting in the school could have been far more devastating.
At the funeral, Fulop called the shooting “a hate crime against Jewish people.”
The attackers were affiliated with Black Hebrew Israelites, a group that claims they are the true descendants of Israel. Some sects within the movement are black supremacist and deny that Jews are descended from the nation of Israel.
The FBI is now handling the investigation. Police discovered a note written by one of the attackers in a stolen U-Haul van saying, “I do this because my creator makes me do this and I hate who he hates”
Fulop is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors.