Police in the New York metropolitan area were put on high alert to protect Jewish neighborhoods after an hours-long gunbattle with two men around a Jersey City kosher market that killed six people, authorities said.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that while there was no known specific threat to the city, he had placed city police on high alert, in particular to protect Jewish residents.
“Tonight NYPD assets are being deployed to protect key locations in the Jewish community. Tomorrow we will announce additional measures,” he said.
“This tragically confirms that a growing pattern of violent anti-Semitism has now turned into a crisis for our nation. And now this threat has reached the doorstep of New York City.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo also directed state police to increase patrols near synagogues and Jewish establishments in wake of the attack in Jersey City.
“My heart breaks for the police officer and the three victims killed in yesterday’s attack on a kosher market in Jersey City,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“We now know that this disgusting act of violence was a deliberate attack on the Jewish community in Jersey City. Out of an abundance of caution, I am directing State Police to increase patrols and security around synagogues and Jewish establishments while New Jersey law enforcement further investigates this horrific act.
“Anti-Semitism and violence against the Jewish community are on the rise both in our state and across the nation. We must stand united, be vigilant and stamp out this vile disease of hate wherever we see it. New York is a proud home to the Jewish community and we will continue to reject hateful acts whenever and wherever we see them.”
Last year, a 47-year-old Pennsylvania man, Robert Bowers, was arrested and accused of bursting into a Pittsburgh community with a semi-automatic rifle and shooting 11 people to death. The October 2018 massacre was the deadliest attack ever on Jewish Americans in the United States.
Bowers now faces the death penalty on multiple murder charges.