A police officer and several other people died Tuesday in an intense shooting in Jersey City that filled the streets with the sound of gunfire for about an hour, authorities said.
Police said they believe the incident is not a terrorist act, but that the investigation was still ongoing.
No details were given on what caused the shooting or how it developed, and there was no information available on how many suspects were involved, or if someone had been arrested.
An agent was pronounced dead in a hospital and several people were found dead in a kosher supermarket, said Mayor Steven Fulop without specifying how many died.
Another agent was shot in the shoulder and two more were injured by splinters, Fulop added.
The Sacred Heart School, near the site of the shooting, was closed for security reasons, but all employees and students were well, according to a statement from the archdiocese of Newark.
The shots began to be heard at the beginning of the afternoon. Teams from the SWAT tactical squad, federal and state police officers, came to the scene, and the police blocked the area that, in addition to the school and the supermarket has some shops and a hairdresser.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department, especially with the agents shot during this confrontation, and with the residents and students currently under emergency closure,” said Democratic Governor Phil Murphy. “I have all the confidence that our security professionals will ensure that the community is safe and will resolve this situation.”
Strong shots could be heard at regular time intervals, but were reduced around 2 pm in the city, which faces Manhattan on the other side of the Hudson River and is the second largest city after Newark.
The US Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was attending the site. The New York Police Department said it sent emergency employees and the counter-terrorism unit monitored the situation.