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Jersey City to remember victims of anti-Semitic attack on one-year anniversary

Police officer Joseph Seals, along with Mindel Ferencz, Douglas Miguel Rodriguez and Moshe Deutsch, were killed in shooting at Jewish grocery store

Illustrative: Police officers look at bullet holes in the windows of a school across the street from the JC kosher supermarket on December 11, 2019, in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Rick Loomis/Getty Images/AFP)
Illustrative: Police officers look at bullet holes in the windows of a school across the street from the JC kosher supermarket on December 11, 2019, in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Rick Loomis/Getty Images/AFP)

JERSEY CITY, United States — Jersey City will pause Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of an anti-Semitic attack that killed a police officer and three people in a Jewish grocery store.

A ceremony will honor Police Det. Joseph Seals at the cemetery where he was shot and killed on December 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 including the store’s owner, 31-year-old Mindel Ferencz, and store employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, who held the back door open for a wounded customer to escape before he was shot. The third victim was Moshe Deutsch, 24.

Seals, a 40-year-old married father of five, was lauded as a model officer who helped get guns off the streets of the city of 270,000 that sits across the Hudson River from New York City.

New York City police guard a Brooklyn synagogue prior to a funeral for Moshe Deutsch, December 11, 2019. Insert: Jersey City synagogue shooting victims Leah Mindel Ferencz, left, and Moshe Deutsch, right. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan/courtesy)

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 law enforcement.

Det. Joseph Seals was slain by gunmen who went on to attack a Jersey City kosher market on Dec. 10, 2019. (Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association via JTA)

It wasn’t certain what prompted the attack, though 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.

Investigators found five weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the store afterward, and found a bomb in the couple’s van plus materials that could have made a second bomb.

Orthodox Jewish women mourn during the funeral service of Leah Mindel Ferencz who was killed in a kosher market that was the site of a gun battle in Jersey City, New Jersey, December 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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