A gunman on Friday sprayed bullets from an automatic weapon near a pub in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, killing two people and injuring at least seven others before fleeing, sparking a massive manhunt, police said.
The incident took place in Dizengoff Street, a busy part of the city centre filled with bars and cafes and occurred around 15:00 GMT.
The shooting left police scouring about a 2-mile area of the city along the Mediterranean Sea, with roadblocks also set up, national police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
More than 15 rounds were fired in “a number of different directions” on a sidewalk outside the pub on Dizengoff Street — a road famous for its shops, restaurants and bars — Rosenfeld said. The shooting happened outside the Simta pub, according to an address provided by police.
“The Israeli national police … are still investigating and trying to determine whether it is a terrorist attack or a criminal … incident,” Rosenfeld said.
Two surveillance videos aired by Israeli news media appear to show the attacker before and during the 2:40 p.m. shooting.
In one video, the apparent gunman stands in a store moments before the shooting. The person puts a bag down on a shopping cart, pulls out what appears to be a gun, steps outside and then points the apparent weapon. As another person runs by, the first person slide-steps to keep pace, apparently still pointing the gun.
In the other, the gunman is seen shooting outside. Nearby, but not in the path of the shooting, alarmed patrons who were in what appeared to be an establishment’s outdoor seating area hurry away.
Israeli media are reporting that the attacker has been identified as an Israeli Arab from northern Israel.
The Times of Israel reported , citing police sources, that his father had recognised his son in security footage and called police.
Two Israeli nationals were killed, Rosenfeld said. Four other people were seriously injured, and three were moderately injured.
Israel has recently been hit by a wave of stabbings and other kinds of attacks on civilians and soldiers, a wave apparently not directed by any particular organization.
Two witnesses told news outlets that someone dressed all in black, with a black mask, carried out the attack with what looked like a military-style assault rifle. Police have not confirmed witness accounts about what the attacker was wearing.