Police officer who shot 18-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli arrested

The suspect was allegedly shot by a policeman who pursued him and his friend.

By ALON HOCHMON/MAARIV
July 1, 2019 10:02
2 minute read.
Police officer who shot 18-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli arrested

The scene of the shooting near Haifa, June 30, 2019. (photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)

An off-duty police officer who shot and killed an 18-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli man Sunday evening was arrested Monday morning and questioned at the Haifa office of the Department for the Investigation of Police (DIP) in the State Prosecutor's Office, according to Israeli media.

The young man's death was confirmed Sunday at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa after he was delivered in critical condition by rescue forces. The grave incident, whose circumstances have yet to be clarified, will be investigated by the DIP.

Police units arrived at the scene of a reported shooting and when looking into the incident, realized that an off-duty officer had been in a playground area with his wife and his three children when he witnessed a fight nearby, according to the police.

"He approached the group of people that were involved in the fight and after making clear to the group that he was a policeman, they started throwing stones at him," the police said in a statement.

According to the off-duty officer, he felt his life was in danger and pulled out his pistol and shot one of the boys.

Large police forces from the Nesher area and a coastal district arrived at the scene and began an investigation to clarify the circumstances of the incident.

In contrast to other incidents, the police refrained from giving particulars about the individuals for more than two hours, except for a brief laconic notice, due to the fact that a policeman was involved in the incident.

"When I got to the scene, I saw the wounded man lying unconscious in the middle of the road, without a pulse and without breathing," said senior Magen David Adom (MDA) medic Gal Stavsky. "I gave him immediate medical treatment that included applying pressure to stop the bleeding and he was quickly transferred to Rambam Medical Center's intensive care unit. MDA medics continued to perform resuscitation until he arrived to the hospital, as his condition was critical."

The police said that the officer was 
injured in the upper part of the body and taken to the hospital for medical treatment, as well.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan expressed deep shock and sorrow over the event in a series of tweets. He emphasized that the killing of a young man at the hands of a police officer was especially difficult to accept and that a full investigation would be carried out.

Erdan’s comments were slammed by MK Ofer Cassif from the Israeli-Arab Hadash Party.

“Israeli policemen feel very comfortable shooting at certain people, mainly Arabs and Ethiopians,” he wrote on Twitter. "Erdan's fake shock is horrifying - police violence against Ethiopian immigrants is not a hitch, but a policy, and in cases of killing Palestinians, there is no shock at all.”

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.


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