Father-and-daughter lawyers gunned down in Jerusalem office

Victims identified as Natan, Yamit Jorno; police suspect financial dispute behind slaying by disgruntled security guard.

Klal building, Jerusalem, shooting, (photo credit: isrphoto)
Klal building, Jerusalem, shooting,
(photo credit: isrphoto)
A disgruntled security guard, upset about a financial dispute, killed a man and his daughter Tuesday morning in their family-owned law office on the third floor of Jerusalem’s Clal Building.
According to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the suspected gunman – who worked as a private security guard in a nearby building – carried out the murders alone at approximately 10 a.m.
The victims have been identified as Natan Jorno, 56, and Yamit Jorno, 26, an aspiring attorney who was working at her father’s firm in order to secure the final accreditation for practicing law.
“We know [the suspect] went into their office and shot them several times in the upper torso over a financial dispute,” said Rosenfeld.
“He was arrested by an off-duty policeman and an active officer who were in the building at the time.”
Rosenfeld said the suspect did not resist arrest and remained silent throughout his arrest.
“He stayed very quiet and did not say a single word,” he said.
The suspect was identified by Hebrew media as a Ma’aleh Adumim resident in his 40s who made aliya from Ethiopia eight years ago.
This is the second instance in a little over a month in which a Jerusalem security guard committed murder, and the latest in a spate of shootings carried out by private guards and former guards with gun licenses.
A few minutes after the shooting, special patrol units and paramedics arrived at the scene and promptly restricted access to the area with metal barriers, as hundreds of concerned and curious mall employees and passersby gaped at the spectacle and took pictures with their phones.
“What in the hell is going on over there?” one man said to no one in particular, as hundreds of onlookers jockeyed for position for a better view.
“This is crazy!” Hagit Ben-Hamo, a spokeswoman for the Jerusalem Police, kept the many gawkers and television news crews at bay behind the barriers, as police carried out their investigation.
“They were shot many times at close range and died very quickly,” she said.
Hamo added that police officers stationed on the fifth floor of the Clal building also rushed to the scene to assist in the suspect’s apprehension and to secure the scene of the crime.
Sharon, the owner of Master Shop, a web-development store located a few meters from the site of the shooting, said he and a coworker heard four loud bursts but did not initially think they came from a gun. He requested his last name not be published.
“At around 10 a.m., we heard four shots, but didn’t know they were gunshots,” said “I’m keeping the door locked for now,” Sharon said, as a crowd continued to gather outside his store 20 minutes after the shooting.
“We saw four police officers running [toward the crime scene] and then a swarm of police and paramedics came,” he continued.
Sharon’s coworker Yehudit, who also requested her last name not be published, said she saw dozens of people running from the area shortly after the shots were fired.
“We had no idea what was going on,” she said.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat arrived at the scene shortly after the arrest.
“I was not sure what was happening, but I’m mayor of the city, so I wanted to see if I could be of help,” said Barkat. “This is a criminal issue and the police have the situation under control and hopefully will be able to resolve the matter.”
Sharon noted that there is a private security firm on the third floor near the crime scene, and when he discovered a murder had taken place, he assumed it was committed by a disgruntled security guard.
“At first I just thought it was another desperate security guard,” he said.
“We have many in Israel who come here for work, and they are treated very poorly because they are usually immigrants and don’t know their rights and get paid minimum wage. It’s a big problem here.”
Rosenfeld said the wife and mother of the victims was notified by police of the shooting while traveling overseas.
“She’s flying back tonight to be with her immediate family,” he said.
On Tuesday night, the suspect reenacted the murder for the authorities.
According to Rosenfeld, he will be arraigned before the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Wednesday morning and charged with two counts of murder. He could face life imprisonment.
The suspect was employed by the same private security firm as Hadi Kabalan, a Druse security guard who on June 21 was charged with the premeditated murder of Doron Ben-Shlush, a Jewish worshiper who was shot and killed at the Western Wall Plaza.
The Israel Bar Association said on Tuesday that it would hold a one-hour strike from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday to protest the murder.
Doron Brazili, the head of the association, stated that this was not the first time an Israeli lawyer had been murdered, and added that the killing was a severe blow to democracy and the rule of law.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.