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Multiple people dead, including a police officer, in Jersey City shooting

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Several people, including at least one police officer, were killed in a shootout around a New Jersey convenience store across the Hudson River from Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, prompting a security lockdown of area schools, officials said.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop told a news conference that there were multiple people deceased inside the store, where suspects reportedly holed up and exchanged gunfire with law enforcement in a standoff that lasted for hours.

Two more police officers and a civilian were wounded in the shootout but were in stable condition, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office posted on Twitter.

The deceased officer was a married father of five, NBC New York reported.

The standoff prompted a massive law enforcement deployment with local SWAT teams and federal agents rushing to the scene, as well as an emergency services squad from the neighboring New York City Police Department.

All schools in Jersey City, which faces Manhattan across the Hudson River, were placed on lockdown, according to local media. The mayor wrote on Twitter that students were expected to be released from affected schools by late afternoon.

The two wounded officers were being treated at the Jersey City Medical Center, the mayor wrote on Twitter.

Few official details of the gun violence were immediately available. But local media reported the confrontation between suspects and police started in or near a cemetery and was linked to a previous homicide investigation.

One city official told reporters there was no evidence that the bloodshed was terror-related.

Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York, Editing by Steve Gorman