Heroic Officers to Detective after their Swift and Courageous Response Saved Countless Lives

JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea will appoint three Jersey City Police Officers to the rank of Detective following their heroic actions to prevent two gunmen from causing additional harm after a shooting at a kosher deli on December 10, 2019.

Police Officers Kendric Jackson, Mariela Fernandez, and Raymond Sanchez will be appointed to Detective during a ceremony inside City Hall at 2:30 p.m. inside Council Chambers on Wednesday, January 15.

“I firmly believe the immediate actions of these three officers who ran towards the gunfire when the first shots rang out, forced the two armed criminals to alter their initial plans and played a key role in keeping this tragedy from being larger than the four innocent lives lost that day,” said Mayor Fulop.

At the time the gunfire began, the three officers were working on assigned posts nearby as part of the strategic deployments put forth by the Mayor and Director Shea to combat crime.

The officers ran towards the gun shots and were first on scene when Officer Sanchez was shot in the shoulder and Officer Fernandez was struck in her hand. Both of their injuries were non-life threatening.

“We truly have the best police department in the state,” said Director Shea. “Between the bravery of our officers and the largescale active shooter trainings we’ve recently had, our officers’ response stopped this situation from escalating dramatically.”

Prior to the confrontation on Martin Luther King Drive, the gunmen also shot and killed JCPD Detective Joseph Seals.

“It’s imperative we recognize Detective Joseph Seals, whose diligence likely thwarted a larger plan for mass murder,” concluded Mayor Fulop.

“There’s no question that everyone on the police department who responded saved many innocent lives, and I’m extremely grateful for their work to keep our community safe every day.”

Once additional JCPD officers quickly arrived on the scene unfolding on MLK Drive, there were no further civilian injuries.

“Each and every officer available responded to the scene on December 10th without hesitation as two gunmen reigned terror in our community,” JCPD Chief Michael Kelly.

“They risked their lives to protect the public. To me, that speaks volumes about the makeup of this great department. I’ve never been more proud to be their Chief.”