A four-hour standoff between police and two heavily armed gunmen in Jersey City left six dead, including one police officer.
Gunmen deliberately targeted a kosher supermarket in a deadly shootout with police that killed six people, a US mayor announced on Wednesday.
The two gunmen attacked the local kosher market in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Tuesday. One police officer and three civilians, in addition to the gunmen, were killed in the gun battle.
Police were on high alert in Jewish neighborhoods in the New York metropolitan area after the hourslong shootout with police.
The shooting on Tuesday occurred at two scenes, starting near a cemetery then moving to a kosher supermarket, Jersey City Police Chief Mike Kelly said at a press conference.
He said the initial gunfire at the cemetery between officers and the suspects is believed to have taken place when the police officer, identified as Joe Seals, was killed. He was a father of five.
The suspects then took a stolen U-Haul truck to a Jewish supermarket, where they began shooting inside and held police at bay for nearly four hours.
"Their movement was rapid and continuous for four hours within that area," the chief said.
Two more police officers and a civilian were wounded in the shootout, but they are in stable condition.
City Public Safety Director James Shea said there was no immediate indication of a terrorism motive, but all aspects of the violence were being investigated.
However, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop later said on Twitter that the initial investigation indicated the shooters "targeted" the Jewish market.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that while there was no known specific threat to the city, the police department were put on high alert to protect Jewish residents.
"Tonight NYPD assets are being deployed to protect key locations in the Jewish community. Tomorrow we will announce
additional measures," he said.
"This tragically confirms that a growing pattern of violent anti-Semitism has now turned into a crisis for our nation. And now this threat has reached the doorstep of New York City."
Hundreds of rounds were fired during the standoff, which prompted school closures and the deployment of SWAT teams and federal agents, as well as emergency support teams from the neighboring New York City Police Department.
aw, cw/dr (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)