Crime scene [illustrative].
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Police in central Ohio shot and killed a man who stormed into a restaurant owned by an Israeli Arab wielding a machete and randomly attacking patrons, authorities said.
Police were called to the Nazareth Restaurant on the northeast side at about 6 p.m. EST, after reports an armed man was attacking people in the building.
The owner of the restaurant, Hany Baransi, is an Israeli Arab originally from Haifa, according to his daughter Rachel Joy Baransi.
It was not clear if the attack was related to the owner’s ethnicity.
The suspect fled and police caught up with him about five miles away, authorities said. He was armed with a machete and knife and lunged at a police officer before he was fatally shot, media said, citing law enforcement officials.
At least five people inside the Middle Eastern-food restaurant were hurt, including one person who was in critical condition, officials said.
The suspect had walked into the restaurant and argued with an employee before leaving, returning with the machete a short time later and attacking customers, police said.
The attack appeared to be random.
"There was no rhyme or reason as to who he was going after,” Columbus Police Department spokesman Sergeant Rich Weiner told WCMH-TV.
The FBI was also investigating, the Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported. Weiner said that restaurant employees and customers have said they did not recognize the attacker.
The name of the machete-wielding suspect and the wounded have not been released.
JTA contributed to this report.