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Jersey City mayor: Gunmen wanted to target next door yeshiva with 50 kids inside

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said Friday that he believes that the two gunmen who attacked a kosher store in the city, killing three people inside, were actually planning to target a yeshiva next door that had 50 children inside at the time of the assault.

“It’s very, very clear that the perpetrator first doesn’t go directly to the deli, he goes toward the door adjacent to it, the building and the doors adjacent to it are the yeshiva…he brought a pipe bomb and he brought 5 guns and hundreds of bullets…we know that he drove deliberately to that location,” said Fulop. “You put all things together, it’s hard to come to any other conclusion.”

“My opinion is that as more info comes out it’ll become increasingly clear that the target was the 50 children at the Yeshiva attached to that store.” Fulop, who is Jewish, tweeted:  “We will never know 100% but the doorway to the yeshiva was 3 feet away + it seems he goes in that direction 1st.”

Fulop said that if police had not managed to trap attackers in store, the result would have been much worse.

In light of the fact that the attack was found to have been pre-meditated and the large amount of firearms the attackers brought in the store, it is logical that the attackers were planning on killing a large amount of people. The quick police response, forcing the attackers to engage in a gun battle until their deaths, may have prevented a massacre of small children.

Next door to the JC kosher supermarket, where the attackers entered and killed three people, is the local elementary school for boys for the Satmar community with around 50 children. Like all local schools, the school was put on lockdown during the attack but unlike the other schools, the attack was perpetrated mere feet away from their desks.

Police recovered five firearms belonging to the two shooters, including four inside the JC kosher supermarket and one inside the U-haul the suspects drove.

The weapons included an AR-15 rifle, a Mossburg 12-gauge shotgun, a nine millimeter Ruger, and a nine-millimeter Glock 17 inside the store and a 22-caliber Ruger mark four with a homemade silencer inside the U-haul.

The attackers killed 33-year-old Mrs. Leah Mindel Ferencz of Jersey City, who together with her husband owned the grocery store that was the site of the attack, Moshe Hersh Deutsch, 24, and Miguel Douglas Rodriguez, 49, who worked in the grocery store.

VINnews report on Friday said that Rodriguez is remembered as a hero since his last selfless act saved someone else’s life at the expense of his own. He left behind a wife and an 11-year-old daughter.

Rodriguez, originally from Ecuador, had just returned from a vacation and began his shift that Tuesday at noon. A half-hour later, Chaim Deutsch and his 24-year-old cousin Moshe Deutch entered the store, only to hear gunshots moments later. Moshe Deutch was gunned down. Chaim Deutch was wounded but was able to run to the back door where Rodriguez was steps ahead of him. Rodriguez held the door for Deutch to leave before him, which cost him his life.

The attackers also killed Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals at a nearby cemetery before driving to the store.