WOODLAND PARK, N.J. – One of the shooters in this week's deadly attack in Jersey City was an Army veteran with a lengthy criminal history related to violence and weapons, according to law enforcement and public records.
The shooter, David Anderson, was arrested at least five times since 2003, the year he was discharged from the Army, the records show.
Anderson, 47, died in the firefight, which authorities say he and the other shooter, Francine Graham, 50, set off Tuesday afternoon at a cemetery and which carried on for several hours at a kosher grocery store. Four other people were killed, including veteran Jersey City detective Joseph Seals.
State and federal authorities are still piecing together the motive behind the shooting, but Anderson and Graham "held views that reflected hatred of Jewish people and law enforcement," Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said at a Thursday news conference.
Grewal said it appears the two acted alone. He also said authorities have identified social media accounts used by the two that may espouse anti-Semitism.
Anderson ran into trouble at the end of his military service. He served in the Army Reserve for four years as a specialist, repairing fuel and electrical systems, according to military records. A database of addresses indicates he had been stationed in Europe, but the Army could not confirm that.
The Army said he was discharged in September 2003 but did not have additional information about his service.
Hudson County Corrections records show that he was arrested in May 2003, the first of at least three times that he was arrested and spent time in the jail. The records show Anderson had been in jail at the time of his military discharge.
Anderson relocated to Ohio at some point after that. In 2009 he was living with his girlfriend in Kent, a city of roughly 30,000 people about 40 miles southeast of Cleveland, when police were called to the home for a domestic dispute, according to police records obtained by the Trenton bureau of the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey.
Anderson's girlfriend told police that during the argument he punched a hole in a closet door and at one point Anderson grabbed her cheeks and said, according to the police report, "I'm gonna kill you. I feel like killing you. You made me lose everything, you can leave this world. Call the police because I'm gonna kill you."
Anderson was arrested for domestic violence threats, according to the police report. Public records show Anderson was convicted of criminal mischief that year.
Anderson was arrested again in 2011 while staying with the same girlfriend and her children without the consent or knowledge of the Portage County Metro Housing Authority, according to Lt. Michael Lewis of the Kent Police Department. Police had been called to the home for a domestic incident involving the girlfriend of Anderson and her daughter, according to police records.
At the time of the arrest in Ohio, Anderson had an active warrant in Hudson County for a weapons offense, Lewis said. Anderson was "completely cooperative" when he was detained, according to police records. The case file shows that police seized from Anderson a .22-caliber revolver at the time of his arrest.
State records show Anderson was sent to state prison in 2011 after being convicted of a weapons offense out of Hudson County but was paroled after serving a little more than four months of a multiyear sentence.
The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest but said on Thursday that it did not have information about the incident, and details were not immediately available from other law enforcement agencies.
Hudson jail records show he was transferred to state prison on the weapon offense in 2011 to serve a five-year sentence. State records show that Anderson’s sentence was set to expire in the spring of 2014.
He had been arrested twice before, in 2003 and 2007, according to the county jail records.
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Both arrests occurred in Jersey City and both led to him spending about a year in jail before a judge ordered his release, according to jail records. The charges related to those arrests were not immediately available.
A search of public records did not show a criminal record for Graham. But she and Anderson were named prime suspects in the slaying of a Jersey City man found in the trunk of a car Saturday night in Bayonne.
Grewal, the attorney general, said that authorities found that Anderson and Graham had expressed interest in the Black Hebrew Israelite hate group but no formal links between the two and the group were found.
Follow Dustin Racioppi on Twitter: @dracioppi
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Jersey City shooter David Anderson had a lengthy criminal history