The officer killed today in Jersey City was named Joe Seals, a south district detective with the police department’s cease fire unit.
He was the father of five and had served on the force since 2006. He recently moved out of Bayonne earlier this year to North Arlington but reportedly loved his Hudson County hometown, and loved wearing the uniform of the Jersey City Police Department.
“It’s a really tough day for the city of Jersey City,” Mayor Steven Fulop told reporters this evening.
Two other officers wounded in today’s shootout were treated and released.
Joe Seals was promoted to detective and was a leading police officer in removing guns from the streets, according to Mayor Fulop. Veteran reporter Jonathan Dienst said Detective Seals approached a van that was connected to a weekend Bayonne murder he was investigating. The officer was mortally wounded. The van then fled to the bodega where five people, including the two suspects, died after a shootout with police.
The detective was killed while trying to interdict guns at the cemetery, Police Chief Michael J. Kelly (pictured above) told reporters this evening.
He refused to talk about the suspects and the civilians killed because he did not have details at this time, the chief added.
Speaking about the death of Detective Seals today, the mayor said, “We cried with the family.”
U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) isssued a statement.
“I am horrified by the tragic news coming out of Jersey City this afternoon, that the shooters killed several people, including a police officer, and injured several others,” Sires said. “I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this indiscriminate violence. Thank you to the Jersey City Police Department, and all the law enforcement officers who responded to this situation today for your service. I continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Governor Phil Murphy and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) were on the scene in Jersey City tonight and expected to soon speak to the media.