FBI Recovers White Van Possibly Linked To Jersey City Shooters

WCBS 880 Newsroom
December 14, 2019 - 1:00 pm
White van jersey city

NJ Attorney's Office/Ramapo Police

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ORANGE, N.J. (WCBS 880) – The FBI says it has recovered a white van with possible connections to the Jersey City shooting this week that left a police officer and three people at a kosher supermarket dead.

“This morning, the FBI recovered a white van with possible connection to the Jersey City shootings,” the FBI said in a statement. “The van was recovered in Orange, NJ and the FBI will examine for any evidence.”

The Ford van may be the one suspects were living in before Tuesday’s deadly assault, which officials say was domestic terrorism “fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs.”

It’s also been revealed that the two suspects behind the attack, David Anderson and Francine Graham, are believed to have killed a livery driver in Bayonne prior to the shooting.

CBS2 reports that authorities believe David Anderson and Francine Graham killed 34-year-old livery driver Michael Rumberger three days before the shooting in Jersey City.

Rumberger’s stepfather, Danny Wenzel, told CBS2 that his stepson had encountered Anderson and Graham last Saturday.

“Mike, my stepson, picked up these two suspects,” Wenzel said. “They requested a ride to a moving company in Bayonne.”

Wenzel says investigators told the family there’s surveillance video of his stepson with the two passengers outside of his cab. Rumberger’s body was found in the trunk of his cab in Bayonne. His funeral was schedule for this weekend.  

PIX11 also reported Saturday that slain Jersey City Det. Joseph Seals was meeting a confidential informant shortly before he was shot and killed at Bayview Cemetery, about a mile away from the kosher supermarket.

The two killers were armed with a variety of weapons, including an AR-15-style rifle and a shotgun that they were wielding when they stormed into the store in an attack that left the scene littered with several hundred shell casings, broken glass and a community in mourning. A pipebomb was also found in a stolen U-Haul van.

"The outcome would have been far, far worse” if not for the Jersey City Police, Grewal said Thursday. Authorities noted that a Jewish school is next to the market, and a Catholic school is across the street.

The attackers killed three people in the store, in addition to Seals, before dying in an hourslong gunbattle with police Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

“The evidence points toward acts of hate. I can confirm that we're investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs,” the attorney general said. He said social media posts, witness interviews and other evidence reflected the couple's hatred of Jews and police.

Grewal noted that after killing three people in the store, the couple concentrated their fire on police and did not shoot at others who happened to be on the streets.

Grewal said Anderson, 47, and Graham, 50, had expressed interest in a fringe religious group called the Black Hebrew Israelites, whose members often rail against Jews and whites. But he said there was no evidence so far that they were members, and added that the two were believed to have acted alone.

David Anderson Francine Graham
NJ State Attorney's Office

The Tunnel2Towers organization, formed after Sept. 11 to support police officers killed in the line of duty, said Friday it would pay the mortgage of Seals, who left behind a wife and five children.

Director of Public Safety James Shea called Seals “the ultimate detective or officer we would point to to tell young officers, 'This is how you should behave.'" He said Friday that he doubted Seals would have been ambushed by the pair.

Anderson fired away with the AR-15-style rifle as he entered the store, while Graham brought a 12-gauge shotgun into the shop. They also had handguns with a homemade silencer and a device to catch shell casings. In all, they had five guns — four recovered in the store, one in the van — in what Grewal called a “tremendous amount of firepower.”

Serial numbers from two of the weapons showed that Graham purchased them in Ohio in 2018, the attorney general said.

The victims killed in the store were: Mindel Ferencz, 31, who with her husband owned the grocery; 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn who was shopping there; and store employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49. A fourth person in the store was shot and wounded but managed to escape, authorities said.

Members of New York's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community gathered Wednesday night for funerals for Ferencz and Deutsch. Thousands of people, mostly men, followed Ferencz's casket through the streets of Brooklyn, hugging and crying.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.