JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Police officers were shot Tuesday in the Jersey City standoff that left a neighborhood, including a school, on lockdown, according to the governor.
Sporadic, heavy gunfire rang out over the course of at least an hour along a major thoroughfare. SWAT teams, state police and federal agents responded to the scene, and police blocked off the area, which has a Catholic school, some stores, a kosher supermarket and a hair stylist.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department, especially with the officers shot during this standoff, and with the residents and schoolchildren currently under lockdown,” Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said. “I have every confidence in our law enforcement professionals to ensure the safety of the community and resolve this situation.”
Phones rang unanswered at several businesses in the area. Someone who answered the phone at the Catholic school, which runs from preschool through eighth grade, said all the children were safe as a lockdown continues. Police tactical teams were going through the school, according to scanner traffic.
Loud volleys of gunfire could be heard at regular intervals but subsided around 2 p.m. in the city, which is just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
Dozens of bystanders pressed against the police barrier to film the action on cellphones, some whooping when gunfire bursts filled the air.
Andy Patel works at a liquor store about three blocks away from the site of the shooting site and said there had been consistent gunfire fire about an hour Tuesday afternoon.
“I can hear the gunshots. It’s like firecrackers going off. They were shooting like crazy about an hour ago. Then it stopped for like 20 or 30 minutes. The cops were clearing everyone off the streets,” said Patel.
Jersey City Police said they had no information to provide over the phone on the shooting.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the shooting and was monitoring it.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was responding. The New York Police Department sent emergency services personnel, and the forces counterterrorism unit was monitoring the situation.