Police arrested a fourth suspect who they believe was involved in the shooting at the Bar Noar Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual youth center in 2009 that left two dead and 15 wounded. Police say the suspect is a high profile member of the gay community and is not suspected of committing the murder.
On Wednesday, Tel Aviv police arrested three suspects they believe were involved in the shooting. They will be brought to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning for a remand extension.
In a briefing with reporters on Wednesday night, Tel Aviv Police head Cmdr. Bentzi Sau said that detectives from the YAMAR investigative unit made the arrests in the afternoon.
Sau, who took up his post on Tuesday, would not give any further details about the case, which remains under a court gag order.
He did confirm, however, that the three suspects were Jewish and that police had ruled out a nationalist motive in the shooting.
Police notified the families of the victims of the shooting before the update was given to reporters.
The arrests follow a breakthrough made by police late last year, which was announced by then-Tel Aviv Police head Aharon Aksel in a conference call to reporters. That breakthrough also remains under a gag order.
On Wednesday, Sau said that despite the dramatic announcement, police have many hours of investigative work left, and the public should not expect an indictment right away.
Around 11 p.m. on August 1, 2009, a masked gunman entered the basement of the Bar Noar center on Nachmani Street and opened fire with a pistol, killing Nir Katz, 26, a volunteer and counselor at the center, and Liz Triboshi, 16. A further 15 people, most of them minors, were wounded.
The murders shocked the LGBT community and the country as a whole, and cracking the case has been a major focus of Tel Aviv police for the past four years.
The arrests came two days before the annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade.
One investigative direction reportedly being followed by investigators is that the attack was carried out by someone seeking revenge after a romantic dispute.