The niece of the man who killed three people in the anti-Semitic Jersey City shooting on Tuesday has said she knew him as he ‘cool’ uncle and that he was ‘not a hateful person’ some years ago.
She spoke as David Anderson, 47, was accused of brainwashing Francine Graham, 50, his co-conspirator in the attack on Tuesday that killed JC Kosher owner Mindy Ferencz, 31, Brooklyn rabbinical student, Moshe Deutsch, 24, plus store employee Douglas Rodriguez, 49.
The niece said that compared to stricter relatives Anderson was laid-back and he taught her how to drive.
‘Uncle David was not a hateful person growing up,’ Alliah Smith, 35, told the New York Daily News. ‘He never tried to hit us. He was the cool one.
David Anderson (left), 47, is accused of brainwashing Francine Graham (right), 50, his co-conspirator in the Jersey City attack on Tuesday. Graham’s brother said Anderson ‘coerced’ and ‘conditioned’ her but she refused help from him and their sister
His niece said Anderson had a ‘disdain’ for cops and fell out with her probation officer stepfather after he tried to encourage stability. Pictured, Jersey City police Sgt. Marjorie Jordan, right, helps fellow officer Raymond Sanchez to safety after he was shot during a gunfight that left multiple dead
‘He came from a very strict, very religious family. They gave everything to the church. They’d eat just beans for dinner. But David was down to earth back then.’
Smith said Anderson grew up in Anderson, New Jersey and his mother died when he was young. She said Anderson lived with her family in the 90s but then fell out with his brother William Anderson – Smith’s stepfather who she has lived with since she was four years old.
‘My dad pushed him to gain some stability. He didn’t like that my dad was a corrections officer. He had a lot of disdain for him. I really think that’s where his dislike for cops started,’ Smith said.
On Tuesday, Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals was also shot at a nearby cemetery.
The cop had been investigating the December 7 murder of a livery driver in Bayonne, New Jersey which police now believe the duo are responsible for.
Earlier this week it was reported Anderson rapped about killing former Ferguson, Missouri cop Darren Wilson, who shot dead Michael Brown in 2014.
Smith said the last time she saw Anderson was when her mother died in 2014 and they lost touch.
After meeting Anderson, Graham was terminated from her job at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center in New York where she’d worked from 1999 to January 2017
But she did not know how he had reportedly come to join a Black Hebrew Israelite church and wasn’t aware of anti-Semitic posts he’d been associated with online.
‘To see what he did, it’s unbelievable to me. It’s so horrible and wrong. I’ve cried so much,’ Smith said. ‘He wasn’t always a monster.’
But Graham’s brother said she was doing well until she met Anderson three years ago.
He said that Anderson introduced himself as ‘Duwarta’ and claimed to be a handyman.
Anderson was a fuel and electrical system repairer in the Army 1999 to 2002 then in the New Jersey Army National Guard until June 2003.
But he struggled to hold down jobs and was jailed from May 2003 to April 2004 on a weapons conviction and was locked up again in relation to another weapons possession case from November 2007 to December 2008.
In 2009 he was arrested in Ohio for threatening to kill his girlfriend and after he was detained in the state again two years later he moved back to New Jersey.
Some years later his new girlfriend would fall into a similar financial situation.
According to records, Graham was terminated from her job at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center in New York where she’d worked from 1999 to January 2017.
Graham’s brother said after she lost her job she fell into ‘financial difficulties’ then her Elizabeth, New Jersey condo went into foreclosure.
‘He seemed sketchy, but we didn’t believe he was capable of doing something like this,’ the sibling told the Daily News, asking to remain anonymous because he feared for his safety.
‘She fell in love with him and she followed him. Through coercion and conditioning, he must have gotten to her.’
The brother said he and another sister tried to save Graham but she refused help.
‘He took my sister’s life,’ the sibling added. ‘You don’t turn into a mass murderer at 50.’
Graham’s brother said about Anderson (pictured): ‘He took my sister’s life. You don’t turn into a mass murderer at 50’