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Former NYPD commissioner’s son part of team that rammed armored BearCat through store, eventually killing Jersey City shooters

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John Annese
New York Daily News

The detective son of former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik was part of a massive police response to Tuesday’s deadly shootout in Jersey City, N.J., the ex-top cop told the Daily News.

Kerik said his son Joseph, 34, a Newark detective assigned to a federal task force, was working with two Jersey City detectives when the initial calls about the bloodbath came over emergency transmissions.

They were part of the small army of cops who rushed to respond to the JC Kosher Supermarket, where an armed duo had taken refuge after killing Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals about a mile away.

Kerik isn’t the only NYPD commissioner with family ties to Tuesday’s response to the protracted gun battle. James Shea, the brother of current NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, is Jersey City’s director of public safety, and played a prominent role in communicating details of the rampage throughout the day.

Kerik said his own son “and these two detectives responded to the precinct in Jersey City where the [slain] cop was from.”

“They jumped into the back of a BearCat, an armored vehicle, and went to the scene where the suspects were holed up,” Kerik said. The BearCat rammed the building, taking fire, Kerik said. His son and the detectives returned fire, he said.

The two suspects were killed in a protracted gun battle, and authorities believe the suspect killed three innocent victims inside the grocery store, though details of the shooting are still being sorted out.

Kerik said his son suffered a back injury when the BearCat struck the store, but was released from the hospital after a brief evaluation.

“My heart and prayers goes out to the family and the colleagues of the cop who was killed. As far as my son goes, I couldn’t be more proud of him, and of the two detectives from Jersey City,” he said.

Kerik served as NYPD commissioner for 16 months in 2001-02. He was considered at one point to serve as secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Kerik was sentenced to four years in prison in February 2010 on tax and false statement charges.

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