An unknown assailant fired 15 gunshots at youths gathered in a garden in northern Jerusalem’s mostly Orthodox Ramat Shlomo neighborhood early Saturday morning, before evading authorities.
Shortly after the shots were fired at approximately 1:45 a.m., 9 mm. shell casings were found by a nearby fence, police said Sunday.
No injuries were reported.
Although the attack had clear terrorist underpinnings, police said they are presently investigating it as a “criminal matter,” but would not provide further explanation.
While details of the incident remain unclear, an eyewitness told the haredi news site Hadrei Haredim that he was in a nearby synagogue when he first heard the flurry of gunshots.
According to the witness, who said he rushed to the scene, the shots were fired in the direction of a group of youths sitting in a garden on Goldknopf Street, less than 100 meters away from a fence on Buksboim Street.
When one of the bullets struck a nearby metal structure in a children’s park, the young men ran for cover, he said. The witness said shots continued to be fired at the youths as they fled for safety.
Within minutes, several police units – including Border Patrol, SWAT units and a helicopter – arrived at the scene and searched for the suspect without success, police said.
Following the attack, police cordoned off the crime scene and restricted traffic in and out of the neighborhood of 20,000 as they continued an intensive manhunt.
Situated between Ramot and French Hill, and adjacent to the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina, Ramat Shlomo is perhaps best known for its precise replica of Chabad- Lubavitch’s World Headquarters, located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
In response to the shooting, Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King issued a statement demanding that a security meeting be held within two weeks to shed light on circumstances of the shooting.