Jersey City will pause Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the attack that killed a police officer and three people in a kosher grocery store.
A ceremony will honor Police Det. Joseph Seals at the cemetery where he was shot and killed on Dec. 10, 2019, during a chance meeting with assailants David Anderson and Francine Graham.
Anderson and Graham then drove to the kosher market where they shot and killed three people: the store’s owner, 31-year-old Mindel Ferencz a”h, 24-year-old customer Moshe Deutsch a”h, and store employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49, who held the back door open for a wounded customer to escape before he was killed.
Anderson and Graham barricaded themselves inside the store and were killed after a lengthy gunfight with police.
Authorities said notes and online posts by the pair reflected a hatred of Jews, and it was believed they deliberately targeted the obviously Jewish store.
Authorities have speculated Seals may have stopped the U-Haul van Anderson and Graham were driving because it fit the description of a vehicle connected to the slaying of a livery car driver a few days earlier. In doing so, Seals may have thrown off their plans and prevented more bloodshed.
Seals was a decorated detective who had been praised in 2008 for saving a woman from a home invader by leaping through the window and tackling the attacker.
Seals, 40, left behind his wife and their five children. Rodirguez left behind his wife and their daughter. Mrs. Ferencz left behind her husband and their three children.
Governor Phil Murphy released a statement on Thursday in memory of the attack, saying “It’s been one year since our state was shattered by the gunfire of hate and antisemitism. Four innocent New Jerseyans taken from us. Today we stand united as one New Jersey family, committed to driving out hate with love, and darkness with light…May the memory of those lost one year ago today remain a blessing.”
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement, “Our hearts are heavy today and with Jersey City as we mourn one of the darkest days in our state’s history and the innocent lives lost a year ago. Let’s honor them and their memories by standing up together against anti-Semitism and hate in all of its ugly forms.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.