Latest count as gunman targets restaurants & bars on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street has 2 dead, 9 others injured, with 1 critically & at least 3 seriously injured.
By Ari Soffer
Two people have been killed and nine others injured in a shooting along Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street.
Magen David Adom paramedics at the scene provided first aid treatment to four seriously injured victims – including two in critical condition – and three in moderate condition, as well as the fatally injured victim, who they were forced to pronounce dead at the scene.
It is not yet clear whether the incident was a terrorist attack or criminal-related.
The shooting took place at Dizengoff 122, close to Dizengoff Center Mall, as the area was packed with people. It began at a popular pub, and the attacker reportedly shot at several other institutions as well as at pedestrians walking along the street.
Paramedics reported “difficult scenes,” with multiple casualties lying on the street with multiple gunshot wounds.
Contrary to initial reports, the gunman managed to flee the scene on foot. Police are currently in hot pursuit.
Witnesses say at least 10 gunshots were heard at the scene, apparently from an assault rifle.
One witness who works at the pub targeted by the gunman said the killer first sat on a nearby bench and waited calmly until the bar filled with people, and then began shooting randomly.
In the past few minutes armed police have surrounded a nearby building and have sealed off the area as they move in on the suspect.
Residents have been warned to stay indoors.
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2dead in apparent terror shooting in central Tel Aviv
An unidentified gunman using a semi automatic weapon fired into one or two crowded restaurants in central tel aviv on Friday, killing two people and injuring nine.
Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai says the incident appeared to be a terror attack.
Police on loudspeakers ordered people in the area to remain indoors and a helicopter circled the area as a manhunt for the shooters is currently underway, and confirming to i24 Newsthat the shooter remains at large.
The Magen David Adom medical service announced via Twitter that at least one person injured in the shooting had died, and later confirmed that a second person had succumbed to injureis.
Seven wounded were evacuated to hospital – two in critical condition, two in serious condition, and three in moderate condition.
Security footage from the Anis healthfood store shows the gunman filling a plastic bag with nuts and approaching the store’s counter, appearing to get ready to make a purchase, before dumping out the bag and reaching into his backpack, pulling out an automatic weapon before exiting the store and firing shots into the busy street.
Witness reported that the shooter appeared calm and methodical.
An employee at a nearby pub told Ma’arivnewspaper, “We were sitting outside and suddenly we heard five or six shots close to each other. Everyone who was in the street started running like crazy. We ran into the kitchen with customers…One of the waiters at the scene said shots were directed into the bar.”
Another witness at a nearby cafe told Ma’ariv: “It was a quite Friday, I was complaining that my sandwich was late. Suddenly we heard a shot. At the second shot, a father with his child ran in and yelled at us to ‘lie down’! I still didn’t really digest what had happened. Suddenly there was a shot to the cafe where we were. Then I saw the shooter was standing right in front of me in a black coat with bristly black hair, holding a rifle with two hands. ”
“We fell to the floor and I remember his smile,” the witness added.
An ex-paramedic, who was in the area at the time of the shooting, was one of the first to arrive on the scene. He told i24 News that he entered the pub, where he began clearing tables to treat the more seriously wounded until paramedics arrived on scene.
The man, who asked only to be identified as ‘Kfir’, told i24 News that he has not seen an incident like this since his time as a paramedic in Netanya during the Second Intifada, and praised the bravery of onlookers who rushed to the scene to help the wounded without concern for their own saftey.
Following the attack, a Hamas spokesperson issued a statement saying that ‘the attack in Tel Aviv shows that the resistance can reach all Israeli territory’.
The shooting took place at 124 Dizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv north of the busy Dizengoff Center mall.
The attack took place at the busiest time of the week on one of the city’s central shopping and café streets.
Most Israelis don’t work on Fridays and Dizengoff Street cafes and pubs are usually packed during the noon hours.
Heavily armed special forces teams were moving north through Tel Aviv’s central streets, sweeping through apartment buildings, yards, and parking garages in pusuit of the gunman.
Police have urged residents to remain indoors as the shooter remains at large.
(This is a developing story)