Third victim of Tel Aviv terror attack a former Israeli Olympian

Two victim's of Thursday's attack were childhood friends out for a beer, one of whom was in the midst of planning his wedding. The third was a 35-year-old father of three.

 Barak Lufan, Olympic athlete, was criticaly injured in a terror shooting attack in Tel Aviv on April 7, 2022, and died the next day. (photo credit: COURTESY)
Barak Lufan, Olympic athlete, was criticaly injured in a terror shooting attack in Tel Aviv on April 7, 2022, and died the next day.
(photo credit: COURTESY)

Barak Lofen, 35, is the third victim of Thursday's shooting attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, the family announced on Friday. He was critically injured in the shooting and succumbed to his wounds at Sourasky Medical Center.

Lofen was a former Olympian kayaker, representing Israel in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.

He was originally from Kibbutz Ginossar on the shores of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) but lived with his wife and three children in Givat Shmuel.

Eitam Megini, 27, became engaged just last month to his girlfriend, Ayala, and the two were in the midst of wedding preparations when a terrorist opened fire in the Tel Aviv's Ilka bar, where Megini was meeting his childhood friend 28-year-old Tomer Morad for a drink.

Instead of standing together under a wedding canopy, Ayala will now say goodbye to her fiancée at his funeral.

The couple moved from Kfar Saba to live together in Tel Aviv; Morad was employed at the bar where they were slain.

   Police and security forces at the scene of a shooting in Tel Aviv, April 7, 2022.  (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Police and security forces at the scene of a shooting in Tel Aviv, April 7, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

"We are all crushed," Ayala's mother Leah said. "They started making [a guest list]. They already planned to see locations.

"Yesterday it was in the news that there was a terrorist attack and Ayala knew he was in the pub," she said. "She called him and he didn't answer. I also called him, and he didn't answer. We knew that if he didn't call to tell her that he is okay, then something happened. I went to Ichilov [Hospital] and [they] asked to see a picture of him, because he didn't have any documentation on him. From their face I understood.

"Instead of a wedding, there will be a funeral." 

"The Kfar Saba municipality hangs its head in pain and shares in the grief of the families of those murdered in the attack yesterday in Tel Aviv," it said in a statement. "The families have been accompanied by social workers from the department of social-community services, providing them with the help that they need. The entire city of Kfar Saba embraces the families and sends best wishes to the injured."

"A heaviness has fallen on our city. We awoke to an unbearably hard morning, with the difficult knowledge that the murdered are two dear sons of our city — Eitam Megini and Tomer Morad... childhood friends that grew up and were educated in our city, Kfar Saba, from among the best of our children," Mayor Rafi Saar said.

"Our hearts are with the victim's families, dear and beloved families. The difficult feelings are mixed with anger, frustration and pain. There are no words that can comfort those that have lost their children,"he said.

"We will support the families and will do everything in order to protect our lives and to continue... until victory – because we don't have an option and we don't have another land," the mayor said. "I hope for a speedy recovery to the injured and send condolences on behalf of the entire city to the families of the victims."

Soon after publication of the victims' names, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid posted that Morad was a relative of one of his advisors. 

"At 1 p.m. I spoke at length with Dana, my advisor," tweeted Lapid. "Ten years we've worked together. We're also friends. One of the victims is Tomer, brother of her brother-in-law. A wonderful 27-year-old man. This morning I got up to this product of a poisonous machine. Only united can we win against terrorism, and the hate that is distributed here."

Wix, an Israeli software company that employed Megini, also tweeted, "We're deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our Wix family member, Eitam Megini, who was murdered by a terrorist last night. Eitam was smart, full of charisma and had a million dollar smile. Sending our deepest condolences to his parents, sister, fiancee and all of the victims." 

The two friends were students at Tel Aviv University. TAU rector Prof. Mark Shatif, shared the university's condolences saying that "the whole of Tel Aviv University bows its head and shares in the grief of the Morad and Megini families. We lost two of our dear students yesterday, and the pain is great." 

The following day, masses of people gathered at the Ilka bar to mourn the loss of the two young men and hold a vigil in their memory. 

Their funerals will take place on Sunday, April 10 at 3:30 p.m. in Kfar Saba's Pardes Chaim Cemetery.