As a police helicopter hovered above, dozens of plainclothes and uniformed officers cordoned off the area surrounding the small, white, bullet-riddled car that a terrorist drove during a shooting attack that left two dead and six wounded.
A forensics and bomb-disposal team carefully surveyed the area for explosives and evidence, as Arab children as young as five anxiously watched the scene unfold behind police lines, where journalists aggressively jockeyed for position to film the carnage.
The terrorist died during a gunfight with two Special Patrol officers who pursued him on a motorcycle into the capital’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, but not before shooting them both, as well as an unidentified woman caught in the crossfire.
One of the officers, Adv.- St.-Sgt.-Maj. Yosef Kirma, 29, died an hour after being shot in the head at close range. He was buried on Mount Herzl approximately five hours later at a ceremony attended by his wife, parents, two brothers, and hundreds of officers.
His unidentified partner sustained a gun wound to his leg. He is expected to recover.
The officers gave chase moments after the 39-year-old terrorist shot and killed a 60-year-old woman named Levana Malichi, near the Ammunition Hill light rail stop, across from police headquarters.
An unidentified man standing near her was also shot, but not fatally.
An empty nearby SUV with its windows shot out, remained in the middle of one of the capital’s busiest thoroughfares, which police blocked off in both directions.
Yeshiva students and other passersby looked on behind police lines from the sidewalk.
Light rail service was temporarily suspended, and heavy morning traffic was redirected.
Just over a kilometer away, amid a trash-strewn intersection in Sheikh Jarrah, two officers mounted on horseback kept watch to ensure the growing Arab crowd remained orderly. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan arrived soon after to hold a press conference.
Details of the lone-wolf attack could not be divulged due to a gag order and the ongoing investigation, he said, although Erdan conceded that incitement on social media may have inspired the killer, who was previously arrested for incitement.
“It has an impact,” he said. “It pushes people out to the streets to commit acts of murder and terrorism.”
Still, he assured the public that thousands of officers are actively patrolling the city during the holidays to prevent, or respond to, any other attempted attacks.
A few minutes after Erdan left the scene in a government SUV manned with security personnel, Police Chief Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich arrived to hold a press conference of his own.
“The people of Jerusalem are strong and well-versed in dealing with attacks like this,” he assured reporters. “They know how to return to normal.”
Yom Kippur would begin soon, Alsheich added, and then Succot. People should not change their daily lives, he said.
Moments later, as the terrorist’s car was finally towed away, and a green municipal street-cleaning truck swept away its remaining shattered glass, a blind elderly Arab man with a white cane sat at a nearby bus stop, nervously fingering prayer beads, as reporters left the scene.
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