Jerusalem burglary ends in shooting death

Suspect, accomplice try to run over police on Emek Rafaim when officers open fire; woman in custody.

crime scene police murder holon 248 88 (photo credit: Israel Police)
crime scene police murder holon 248 88
(photo credit: Israel Police)
The Shabbat-morning quiet on Jerusalem's popular Rehov Emek Refa'im was shattered when an Arab man and a Jewish woman reversed their Mazda 3 vehicle into the display window at the Rendezvous clothing store. The pair quickly emerged from the car and filled it with merchandise. "We received a call from local residents who reported the break-in," Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmulik Ben-Ruby told The Jerusalem Post. Soon thereafter, at about 7 a.m., an officer and a police volunteer arrived in a patrol car. "Officers found the couple still in the store. The suspects were ordered to halt, but they got back into the car," Ben-Ruby said. When the police officers blocked their way out the robbers attempted to run them down and get away, striking several parked cars, he said. "Officers opened fire on the car, but it continued driving. A chase ensued. On Rehov Ben-Zakkai, the car carrying the suspects pulled into a parking lot, and the suspects attempted to flee on foot," Ben-Ruby said. Salah Salaima, 30, from northeastern Jerusalem, had been mortally wounded by the police gunfire. "He fell to the ground after trying to run a few meters," Ben-Ruby said. Magen David Adom paramedics declared him dead on the scene. The female suspect, who is in her 20s but was not immediately identified, was not hurt. She was arrested by officers dispatched to provide backup and was remanded for four days on Saturday night. Police say the suspects are known to them for a long string of property offenses. "Both of them have a very 'rich' background," Ben-Ruby said. The female suspect's lawyer insisted that the shooting was unjustified, and the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department has opened an inquiry into the incident, as is standard practice following the use of firearms by police. Jerusalem police have already offered full backing to the officers involved. "They acted correctly," Ben-Ruby said. Moria Police Subdistrict Chief Dep.-Cmdr. Amnon Alklai said the officers had responded properly when they felt their lives to be in danger.