New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal led a panel with other top state officials this morning reflecting on the Jersey City domestic terrorism incident that claimed four innocent lives 365 days ago.
Grewal led off the just over hour-long discussion by asking to remember Jersey City Police Det. Joseph Seals, Leah Minda Ferencz, Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, Moshe Deutsch, who were killed by the duo who began an hours-long shootout with law enforcement at a Kosher market one year ago.
He also recognized Michael Rumberger, an Uber driver who was killed by David and Anderson and Francine Graham in Bayonne days prior to their shootout in Greenville – where they also perished – before calling for a moment of silence.
“On December 10th, 2019, our state was shattered by the deadliest domestic terror incident in New Jersey history. On that day, two domestic terrorists – fueled by the duel hatred of Jewish people and of law enforcement … those two sought to divide us that day by targeting Jersey City, one of our countries most diverse cities,” Grewal said.
“The city in fact where I was born. And I’ve said this before: Jersey City is an American city, a city that reflects the values and the strengths of our nation.”
Grewal was joined on the Zoom call by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Jared Maples, and New Jersey Division on Civil Rights Director Rachel Apter.
Carpenito called the Jersey City police that were on the front line “heroes” for running toward gun fire as chaos ensued on that fateful day, and also crediting Rodriguez as “the unexpected hero of the day” who held the door for a market patron to escape as he was fatally shot.
“I hope we all keep this in mind, I hope all of us commit, not to just focus on what happened on December 10th, or what happened at Judge [Esther] Salas’ house, but continue in the future to use our lives, our roles, and the platforms we have to make sure we’re never on a webinar like this again.”
The FBI set up a website last year for people to submit pictures, videos, and any other information about the massacre in Jersey City, later revealing in January that the shooters also planned an attack on a Jewish community center in Bayonne that never materialized.
Additionally, Greenblatt reflected on the shooting, recalling that December 10th, 2019 was supposed to be a great day for the ADL since it was the day of their biggest annual fundraiser.
“We know where anti-Semitism comes from. We know its insidious roots and history and we know where it can lead. This is a shooting that never should’ve happened,” he said, later stating “we’ve seen the normalization of extremism” this year.
Jersey City officials of course also held their own tribute at the Bayview Cemetery, with friends, family, and former colleagues remembering the life of Seals.