Police fired into the bathroom where Beersheba gunman Itamar Alon was holed up with a hostage on Monday, a decision that was unjustified, Southern District Police Commander Yoram Halevy said Wednesday.
During a special meeting of the Knesset's Interior and Environmental protection committee held to examine the circumstances of the Beersheba bank branch shooting that left four dead on Monday, and the criteria for private gun ownership in Israel.
At the meeting, Commander Halevy said that police received a call of shots fired in the bank branch at 12:59 and that detectives arrived minutes later with the understanding that there was a robbery in place. They saw the shooter and told him they were on the scene, at which point he told them he had a hostage. Minutes later police went into the bank and began evacuating the killed and wounded, including an innocent Beduin man who was handcuffed by police and kept restrained at the hospital until he was treated for his gunshot wounds.