JERSEY CITY, NJ — Walt Zalisko worked for the Jersey City Police Department for 32 years and knew Detective Joseph Seals, the officer killed in Tuesday’s mass shooting, personally. He said Seals was always eager to become a police officer.
“He was a great family man. He was a great individual. His heart was in the right place. He wanted to be a cop so bad. He wanted to help that community,” he said.
Investigators said the shootout started when Seals went to check out a stolen U-Haul truck parked at Bay View Cemetery. That’s when two suspects shot and killed him, and then they killed three more people inside a nearby Jewish bodega. More than 200 shots were exchanged between the suspects and law enforcement before the two suspects were also killed.
Zalisko says this holiday season will be especially hard for the Seals family.
“He has a family of five children, a wife. And they’re going to have to celebrate Christmas without him. Or they’re not actually going to celebrate. You know, you can’t celebrate at a time like this,” he said.
Zalisko said sources within the JCPD also told him the two suspects have an extensive criminal history, and could be connected to another murder involving the stolen U-Haul truck.