An Israeli student was wounded by a stranger who entered the famous Chabad Organization complex in Brooklyn, New York. Terror and anti-Semitism were probably not the motive.
An intruder stabbed a religious Israeli student at Chabad World Headquarters on 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood in New York. The incident occurred at about 2 in the morning, local time.
The victim was studying with a group when the assailant entered the Chabad house and stabbed 22-year old Levi Rosenblatt of Beitar Illit, Israel. Rosenblatt sustained injuries to his neck and abdomen, which medical responders initially listed as “critical” but then downgraded to “light injuries” after providing medical care.
Police arrived at the scene, cornering the assailant at gunpoint (one of the students caught the standoff on video). Despite pleas from Jewish students urging the attacker to surrender and direct orders from police to drop his weapon, the attacker refused to put down his knife.
At one point in the standoff, police convinced the assailant to drop his weapon, but as they approached him to make the arrest, he grabbed the knife again and attempted to stab another person. Police opened fire, shooting the attacker, who later died of his wounds at a local hospital.
WATCH the full incident: (Caution: strong language)
Chabad House Stabbing ‘Not a Terror Attack’
The motive for the attack is unclear, but a Chabad spokesman has already announced that all indications point to the fact that it was not an anti-Semitic or terror attack, downplaying the incident as an altercation with a disturbed man. Israel’s Kol Hai Radio spoke to a witness, who said that the assailant had arrived earlier in the evening and requested a bible but was removed from the premises. He further shared that the attacker stabbed the victim and then pulled him out of the building before attempting to stab others. The students pushed tables to keep the attacker at bay. Police arrived on the scene within minutes, as the compound is heavily guarded.
Israel’s IDF Radio is reporting that the attacker was probably a local homeless man. A Chabad spokesman told IDF Radio: “There is a 98% chance that this wasn’t a hate incident or a nationalistically motivated incident.”
The spokesman added that many “borderline homeless” people visit the Jewish center late at night, hoping to take shelter from the cold. There was most likely “an unpleasant exchange” between the attacker and the victim, after which “the stabber took out a kitchen knife and screamed at the Jewish youth that he would kill him,” he said.
The New York Police Department has partially shutdown the famous synagogue and launched an investigation.
By: United with Israel Staff