What to Know
- Authorities arrested a pawn shop worker Saturday and are looking at a connection with the Jersey City shootings Tuesday
- His phone number was found in the pocket of suspected shooter David Anderson
- The shop worker, a convicted felon who had multiple guns at the shop, now faces weapons-related charges
A bail hearing for a man whose number was found in the pocket of one of the perpetrators of last week's fatal attack on a Jewish market was halted and abruptly postponed Wednesday after prosecutors said they had evidence he was selling firearms from his pawn shop.
No date was immediately set for a new hearing.
Investigators had previously disclosed that they found several weapons in a search last week of Ahmed A-Hady's home and a pawnshop owned by his family.
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On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Joseph Dickson gave the parties two additional days to present arguments for whether A-Hady should be detained pending a trial or released on bail.
Then on Wednesday, prosecutors told the federal judge they have evidence that A-Hady was buying and selling firearms. A-Hady had been prohibited from possessing any firearms because of a previous felony conviction in 2012, prosecutors have said.
A-Hady's brother, Adhem, said outside the courtroom Wednesday that his brother asked his attorney to ask for the hearing to be adjourned because "he was unhappy with some of the things they were saying that were false," referring to the statements about alleged gun sales. The attorney, public defender K. Anthony Thomas, didn't confirm that account.
"[Ahmed] doesn't know what's going on and it's pretty much a whole bunch of bad luck on why his number was and this address here was in one of the shooter's pockets," Adham previously told NBC New York.
Adham also said that the guns legally belong to his parents. "We had them locked up in the safe. They came and conducted a search and said they were too close to my brother, that he shouldn't be around them, which he wasn't. They're locked up separate from his place of living," Adham said earlier in the week.
When authorities went to the pawnshop and interviewed A-Hady, he acknowledged still owning the weapons but denied that they were on the premises. But after receiving a tip about a safe, investigators searched the business and found weapons including three AR-15-style assault rifles, three handguns and one shotgun.
When officials searched A-Hady's home, they found more than 400 rounds of ammunition, prosecutors said.
A-Hady, who claimed in court Monday that his name actually is spelled Hady, hasn't been charged with providing any of the weapons used in the Dec. 10 Jersey City shootings by two attackers authorities say were motivated by anti-Jewish and anti-law enforcement hatred. Four people were killed, including a Jersey City police detective who was shot before the attackers drove to the market.
The number for the 35-year-old was found in the pants pocket of David Anderson, one of two people killed by police after the hours-long standoff at the JC Kosher Supermarket. Anderson and Francine Graham killed Jersey City Police Det. Joseph Seals before driving about a mile to the store, where they killed three people inside, according to authorities.
In addition to Seals, the attackers killed Mindel Ferencz, 31, who co-owned the grocery; 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn who was shopping there; and store employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said last week.
Law enforcement officials have said Anderson and Graham appear to have acted alone when they targeted the market, even though they had expressed interest in a fringe religious group that often disparages whites and Jews.
They were armed with multiple weapons including an AR-15-style rifle and a shotgun, and a pipe bomb was also found in the stolen U-Haul van they drove to the market. Two of the weapons used by Anderson and Graham were bought by Graham in Ohio last year, police have said. It's not known where they got the three other guns.
Anderson and Graham are also prime suspects in the slaying of a livery driver found dead in a car trunk in nearby Bayonne the previous weekend, authorities have said.
Last weekend, authorities recovered a white van they said may be connected to the shootings, which are being investigated as domestic terrorism. Authorities have said Anderson, 47, and Graham, 50, had expressed interest in the Black Hebrew Israelites, a fringe religious group whose members often rail against Jews and whites, but that there was no evidence so far that they were members and they are believed to have acted alone.
The FBI said a search of A-Hady's residence and a pawn shop where he works in Keyport, about 15 miles south of where the shootings occurred, yielded weapons including three AR-15-style assault rifles, three handguns and one shotgun as well as more than 400 rounds of ammunition. Authorities have charged A-Hady with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Prosecutors told the judge Wednesday that direct and circumstantial evidence shows A-Hady was buying and selling rifles including AR-15 assault weapons. Shortly after that, the hearing was adjourned.
A-Hady's attorney had sought to have his client released on $100,000 bond secured by his family's residence and business.