TA police: No shooting at AKIM residence

Authorities determine holes found at hostel for people with disabilities were likely not caused by firearm, not reported shooting.

By
February 23, 2014 21:23
2 minute read.
disabled

Intellectually disabled people give shiatsu massages to passersby in Ramat Gan last week as part of "Akim in the Square" informational campaign. (photo credit: COURTESY OF AKIM)

 
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The alleged shooting at the AKIM residence in North Tel Aviv was not what it appeared and the “bullet” holes seemed to have been caused by a drill, police announced on Sunday.

As part of the investigation at the north Tel Aviv station, police established a special investigative team to examine the holes. A mobile forensic laboratory was brought to the scene and forensic experts were called in to inspect the area.

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Police said that due to these efforts they received two significant findings. First, that a fire arm was not involved in the incident, and second, that there is a high probability that the holes were made from the inside and not from the outside as previously believed.

Police interrogated a workman on Sunday at the north TA station who said in his testimony that around 10 days ago he had drilled holes in a wall with the window open, which in turn caused the holes in the glass.

The station’s police chief instructed officers to keep searching for the object that caused the holes.

On Wednesday, a couple and their two children, who were residing near the hostel, were brought to the police station for questioning regarding the shooting and were released shortly thereafter. Police said they had closed the case against the family due to “lack of guilt.”

AKIM – The National Association for the Habilitation of the Intellectually Disabled – issued a statement on Sunday following the announcement by police.



“All the information provided on the suspicion of the shooting, was based fully on police investigators who arrived at the scene. We are very pleased that we are not dealing with a shooting and trust that the police will continue to investigate the rest of the harassment of the AKIM house, since in recent weeks this apartment and the staff have suffered from sabotage, vandalism and threats against the house,” the statement read.

AKIM CEO Sigal Peretz-Yahalomi said last week that prior to the incident the house lock was sabotaged, oil was poured on the pathway leading to the house and over the door and on a few occasions the driveway was blocked by cars.

According to the CEO, the incident has brought about increased public awareness and an outpouring of support for the AKIM organization.

“It is unfortunate that it [the public discussion] came about because of this negative event,” but nevertheless it’s good that a discussion about intellectually disabled people has begun “and hopefully this will help to raise awareness and break disinformation,” Peretz-Yahalomi said.

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