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Tel Aviv, Israel: Gunman Opens Fire at Bar, Killing 2 and Injuring at Least 7, Police Say

Tel Aviv, Israel: Gunman Opens Fire at Bar, Killing 2 and Injuring at Least 7, Police Say: 

A gunman on Friday sprayed bullets from an automatic weapon near a pub in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, killing two people and injuring at least seven others before fleeing, police said. A massive manhunt ensued.

The shooting left police scouring about a 2-mile region of the city along the Mediterranean Sea, with roadblocks set up, national police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

More than 15 rounds were fired in “a variety of different directions” on a pavement outside the pub on Dizengoff Street — a road well-known for its stores, eateries and pubs — Rosenfeld said. The shooting occurred outside the Simta pub, based on an address provided by police.

“The Israeli national police … are still investigating and attempting to ascertain whether it’s a terrorist attack or a criminal … incident,” Rosenfeld said.

In a single video, the obvious gunman stands in a shop minutes before the shooting. The man steps outside, pulls out what is apparently a firearm, puts a bag back on a shopping cart and points the obvious weapon. As another man runs by, the very first man slide-steps to keep pace, seemingly pointing the firearm.

Nearby, but not in the route of the shooting, dismay patrons who were in what seemed to be the outside seating area in an establishment run away.

Haim Pinto, owner of a jewelry store close to the pub, said he was when the shooting started outside shutting his shop.

He said a shot was “firing in every way while he was running.” Pinto said he went back into his store, where he concealed with two other men and women in a restroom.

“(It was) fortunate that today was chilly and wet, so that there weren’t too many folks outside,” Pinto said. “Dizengoff Street on Friday is generally packaged, and we’re fortunate that there was bad weather so there weren’t so a lot of folks.”

Four other people were critically injured, and three were somewhat injured.

The shooting came at a time of heightened unease with a recent tide of violence which has contained stabbings and other forms of assaults on Israeli soldiers and civilians, in Israel and Palestinian territories.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the spate of strikes, beginning in October 2015, a “wave of terror.” Twenty Israelis were killed from October to mid- November with others the authorities said.

Palestinian officials have promised Israeli authorities have gone too far, saying that more than 80 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in alleged assaults, along with an identical interval, a figure which includes protesters who died in conflicts.