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Prosecutor: Suspects' Bomb Could've Wiped Out 5 Football Fields

Murder, attempted murder are said to have preceded Dec. 10 attack
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2020 9:55 AM CST
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US Attorney Craig Carpenito, center, speaks at a news conference at FBI headquarters in Newark, NJ, on Monday to provide an update on the Dec. 10 Jersey City shootings.   (Steve Hockstein/NJ Advance Media via AP)
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(Newser) – The pair who opened fire on a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, NJ, last month had more victims than initially thought. A .22-caliber handgun found in Francine Graham and David Anderson's rental van was used to fire two rounds that struck the vehicle of a "visibly Jewish" man driving near Newark a week before the Dec. 10 attack, authorities said Monday, per the New York Times. The same gun was also used to kill a taxi driver found in the trunk of a car in Bayonne on Dec. 7, authorities added, noting the driver's DNA was found inside the van. Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals is believed to have recognized the van as connected to the homicide when he approached it at a cemetery on Dec. 10, per NBC New York. He was fatally shot before the suspects gunned down three others at JC Kosher Supermarket, which authorities say they'd cased multiple times.

But authorities believe the pair had planned a broader attack that was derailed by Seals' actions. While the exact plan isn't clear, the van held a bomb that could've killed people up to five football fields away, as well as the makings for a second bomb, US Attorney Craig Carpenito said. Authorities also noted the pair had researched a Jewish community center in Bayonne, and Carpenito said the two had handcuffs keys hidden in their underwear. Both were self-described Black Hebrew Israelites, while Anderson had expressed anti-Semitic and anti-police sentiments. "They stole our heritage, they stole our birthright, and they hired these guys to stop us," Carpenito quoted Anderson as saying, according to surveillance video from inside the supermarket. Authorities said he also carried a note referencing Black Panther leader Fred Hampton's denunciation of cops. (It was found with another note.)

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