A police officer is among several people killed following a lengthy gun battle on a busy New Jersey street in the US.
Two more officers and a civilian were also wounded with police initially announcing they believed there were two active suspects – a man and a woman, CBS New York reported.
A grocery store in a residential street in Jersey City has been surrounded by police and SWAT members in a tense standoff that lasted more than two hours.
Law enforcement sources told People six people had been killed, including the two suspects.
Other victims are believed to have been held hostage inside the store.
Mayor Steven Fulop said there were “multiple deceased” inside the building.
One of the officers, understood to be the deceased officer, was shot in the head.
The three people wounded were in a stable condition, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said on Twitter.
The nearby Sacred Heart School was put in lockdown, but all staff and students were safe, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Newark.
Sporadic, heavy gunfire rang out over the course of at least an hour along a major thoroughfare.
Today is a horrific day. Officers have come under attack and we have several wounded. Our hearts are heavy and the violence is not over.— New Jersey State PBA (@NJSPBA) December 10, 2019
We need prayers.
SWAT teams, state police and federal agents responded to the scene, and police blocked off the area, which, in addition to the school, has 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.”
‘Like firecrackers going off’
Loud volleys of gunfire could be heard at regular intervals but subsided around 2pm in the city, which is just across the Hudson River from Manhattan and is New Jersey's second largest city after Newark.
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 for about an hour on 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.
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.
"Today is a horrific day. Officers have come under attack and we have several wounded. Our hearts are heavy and the violence is not over. We need prayers," the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association tweeted.
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