A knife-wielding man stabbed an Israeli student in the head inside a Brooklyn synagogue early Tuesday before being fatally shot by police after he refused to drop the knife, authorities said.
It happened around 1:40 a.m. at the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic world headquarters in Crown Heights. The entire incident was caught on cell phone video.
The man stormed into center and attacked 22-year-old Levi Rosenblat, who was studying inside the synagogue, spokesman Motti Seligson said. He said there were other people inside at the time.
According to witnesses, the attacker was heard saying repeatedly “Kill the Jews,” said Chaim Landa, a spokeswoman for Chabad-Lubavitch. Several other people immediately intervened, she said.
A witness flagged down a patrol officer, who confronted the 49-year-old man and told him to put the knife down, police said. More officers responded and repeatedly ordered the man to drop the knife, police said.
The man put the knife on a nearby table, but picked it up again, police said. Then, with the knife in his hand, he charged at one of the officers, who fired once, striking the man in the torso, police said.
Police said no other officers discharged their weapons.
The man was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Rosenblat, who was stabbed in the left temple, was taken to the hospital in stable condition, police said.
“We commend the heroic efforts of the individuals who were present and took immediate action. If not for their intervention the outcome could have been, God forbid far worse,” said Landa. “While we are very pained by everything that has unfolded, we are very grateful to the police for their quick response and are working closely with the authorities in their ongoing investigation.
The suspect has not yet been identified. Police said a 9-inch knife with a 4 1/2-inch blade was recovered at the scene. Three officers were also hospitalized for ringing in the ear.
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