Three men were injured, two of them seriously, during a shooting and a subsequent police chase in the Haifa bay area overnight Sunday — the second assassination attempt in the last two days.
Two men on a motorcycle reportedly shot at a 20-year-old who was sitting in his car near the athletics stadium in Zevulun, part of the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Haim, seriously wounding him. The victim was struck by bullets all over his body, including in his legs and torso, and was rushed to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa where he underwent surgery.
An undercover police unit was nearby when the shooting broke out.
The Zevulun police chief, Commander Ilan Sardel, said that the undercover police yelled at the shooters to get them to stop, but that the men tried to flee on a motorcycle, spurring a chase. One of the shooters pointed a gun at a detective, at which point the law enforcement officer shot at them, he added.
One of the motorcycle riders received a serious gunshot wound in the stomach. He, too, was transferred to Rambam Medical Center for surgery. The second passenger was injured slightly on his hand.
Police will conduct a procedural investigation into the shooting of the suspects, Sardel said.
The attack was likely linked to a narcotics ring, police said. All three individuals involved in the incident were from Kiryat Yam and were known to the authorities. Another three suspects from the same town who police believe were possibly linked to the shooting were also arrested.
A Magen David Adom first responder who was in the area witnessed the events unfold. “It was like the Wild West,” Ofer Shabbat told Yedioth Ahronoth. “They shot him, point-blank, nonstop.”
Shabbat said that he saw the shooters target the car and also saw the man inside the vehicle try to escape. “After he was shot, the man tried to drive away but his car ran onto the traffic island.” The man was conscious when the paramedics came to treat him, Shabbat said.
“The ambulance was in the line of fire [of the police chase], so we drove [to the hospital] through an alleyway,” he added.