A federal prosecutor on Thursday said investigators were treating a chaotic and deadly Jersey City gunfight as an act of terrorism, believing the shooters targeted Jews and cops.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY CRAIG CARPENITO, SAYING: "This is going to be investigated going forward with the FBI taking the lead with the U.S. attorney's office as a domestic terrorist event, with a hate-crime bent.
The motivations appear to clearly be a bias toward both the Jewish community and law enforcement." Police said two shooters on Tuesday first murdered a detective who approached them in a cemetery.
They then drove a rented moving van to the Greenville neighborhood, exited the car with guns drawn and stormed a kosher grocery store.
Investigators believe the suspects murdered three civilians inside the shop, then turned their fire on police responding to the scene.
The shooters were both killed in the massive gunfight.
Cops recovered four guns, including an AR-15-style rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun inside the store.
They discovered another pistol with an improvised silencer, and a homemade pipebomb inside the van.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY CRAIG CARPENITO, SAYING: "They were clearly targeting that store.
They were clearly targeting the Jersey City Police Department.
We don't know why.
And that's where we are now.
Funerals were held Wednesday night for two of the victims, both cousins and members of an ultra-orthodox Hassidic Jewish sect.
One of the funerals was held in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood.
Footage showed thousands of mourners in the street.
New York City's mayor on Thursday visited the community to denounce the murders.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW YORK CITY MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, SAYING: "This horrible act of senseless violence, this act of terrorism, anti-Semitic hate, has come right home here to this neighborhood in Brooklyn, and to our city." New Jersey's attorney general pushed back on media reports that the suspects had left behind a manifesto, or were affiliated with a particular group.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY GERBIR GREWAL, SAYING: "There has been considerable reporting that these two suspects are linked to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement.
We have evidence that both suspects expressed interest in this group.
But we have not definitively established any formal links to that organization or to any other group." Last year the Anti-Defamation League recorded more than 1,800 anti-Semitic acts in the U.S., the third-highest since the group began keeping records in the 1970s.