In light of Bayonne Superintendent of Schools John Niesz informing parents that, following a horrific shooting incident in Jersey City where six people were killed, the high school was targeted in a social media threat, one man has been arrested.
By Mike Montemarano/Hudson County View
Niesz said yesterday that police are actively investigating the threats that were made, but said that he could not go into details about the threat or the progress made on the investigation.
“I can assure everyone in the City of Bayonne that our Bayonne Police Department (one of the finest in New Jersey) is thoroughly investigating this incident as I write this letter to you. While I cannot inform you of what is happening or if they caught all or any of the individuals who posted the message- I do know the following,” he wrote in a letter.
“We will have security present as always and your children will be safe tomorrow. I am a retired police sergeant and I take this threat personally for all of our students, parents, guardians, faculty, and staff. I will also assure you that the individual(s) will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and if it is a student(s) of the Bayonne School District I will personally expel them from school.”
Early this morning, the Bayonne Police Department announced they had arrested Deandre Jefferson, 18, of Jersey City, around 11:10 p.m. last night.
He was charged with making a false public alarm, making false reports to law enforcement, and making terroristic threats, according to Police Capt. Joseph Scerbo.
Citywide, Bayonne schools underwent a “shelter-in-place” procedure alongside schools in the Jersey City Public School District yesterday afternoon as gunmen were pursued by members of the Jersey City Police Department, Hudson County SWAT team, the FBI, NYPD, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, among other agencies engaged, as a firefight ensued for hours.
Det. Joseph Seals, a well-regarded 15-year JCPD veteran, was identified as the first of six people who died in the shootout, which began at Bayview Cemetery. Seals was on-duty at the time he was murdered, according to JCPD Chief Michael Kelly.
After Seals was killed, police pursued the suspects, who drove a stolen U-Haul to a market at 223 Martin Luther King Dr. just after noon, where the majority of the violence took place.
The shooters killed an additional five civilians, two of whom Kelly described as “bad guys,” inside of the establishment. Two other police officers received non-life threatening injuries in the barrage of gunfire, which continued for hours.
The stolen U-Haul was taken from the crime scene for examination by bomb squad members.
Kelly said that they were discharged from Jersey City Medical Center within hours.
Mayor Steven Fulop said on social media that the preliminary investigation yielded evidence that the Jersey City Kosher Supermarket was targeted by the attackers, who remain unidentified.
“As a Superintendent I am disgusted to send this message to our community. In light of our heroes in law enforcement putting their lives on the line to keep us safe, I am appalled at the audacity that an individual would make such a threat to the Bayonne School District. This type of threatening behavior is absolutely deplorable and will not be tolerated,” Niesz also wrote.
A screenshot of a Snapchat post was circulated online by multiple Bayonne residents, and contains multiple comments.
A purported copy of the Snapchat post by username Dede X says, “The way they was shooting today is the same way how imma shoot Bayonne high up.”