The American Jewish community was once again coming to terms with another deadly shooting this week, after gunmen entered a kosher supermarket in Jersey and killed Jewish shoppers.
Following the rampage, which left four victims dead, including one police officer, the tight-knit Orthodox community of Greenville in Jersey City was left reeling after a shoot-out moved from a cemetery to JC Kosher Supermarket.
Among the Jewish victims named by Wednesday afternoon were Moshe Deutch, 24, and Leah Ferentz, 33. Deutch was reportedly in Stamford Hill in London last week, attending a wedding.
Dramatic video footage of the shooting was uploaded online showing an injured police officer being dragged to safety and police back-up arriving, amid a hail of gunfire in the largely African-American neighbourhood.
Two gunmen armed with high-powered rifles are understood to have holed up in the shop, which is next door to a synagogue and a yeshiva, exchanging hundreds of rounds of ammunition with police before being shot dead.
Jewish victims were confirmed by Mordechai Rubin, a member of the local Jewish emergency medical services Hatzolah. They are believed to have been bystanders. One survivor from the shooting is understood to have injuries.
Initially police believed that the gunmen ran into the kosher supermarket at random but within hours of the incident Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who is Jewish, said: “We now believe the active shooters targeted the location they attacked.”
Although the investigation was ongoing, Wednesday’s New York Times reported that one of the gunmen had posted anti-Semitic content online.
British Jewish leaders reacted with horror and sympathy. Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said: “Another violent tragedy must never numb our capacity to feel shock nor our duty to bring people together and to counter hatred wherever it appears.”
Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said: “Our hearts go out to the victims of this heinous attack.” Rabbi Shmully Levitin, a Chabad rabbi who lives in Jersey City, said: “It’s devastating that something like this happened.”