Law enforcement officials in Jersey City, New Jersey, were responding Tuesday to reports of an active shooter, NBC New York reported.
According to a preliminary investigation, a police officer was shot in the head and was listed in critical condition, a senior law enforcement official said. At least one suspect was holed up in a local store, sources said.
SWAT officers and first responders rushed to the neighborhood near Martin Luther King Drive and Bidwell Avenue, about 8 miles southwest of Midtown Manhattan in New York City. News footage from the scene also showed that first responders included Hatzalah paramedics, who serve the orthodox Jewish community.
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“I have been briefed on the unfolding situation in Jersey City. 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,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
“I have every confidence in our law enforcement professionals to ensure the safety of the community and resolve this situation. Today reminds us of their bravery and the sacrifices they, and their families, make for our communities.”
All schools schools in Jersey City were put on lockdown, while campuses in nearby Bayonne were under a “shelter in place” order as a precaution, officials said.
“All students and staff are safe however a number of schools are currently on” lockdown, the Jersey City School District tweeted at 1:30 p.m.
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SWAT teams with Jersey City and state police were among those responding Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Newark and the FBI were also on the scene.
“I can hear the gunshots. It’s like firecrackers going off,” said Andy Patel, who works at a liquor store about three blocks away from the scene.
“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.”
This is a developing story, please refresh for updates.
Minyvonne Burke, Doha Madani and Associated Press contributed.