An Israeli man was stabbed early Tuesday morning by an assailant at Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters in New York.
The attacker, a black male later named as Calvin Peters, entered the Hasidic movement’s headquarters in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood and stabbed the 22-year-old several times in the upper body.
The victim, an ultra-Orthodox Israeli named Levi Rosenblat, was lightly to moderately injured in the attack. The Yeshiva World News website reported that he was conscious and had spoken to a relative on the phone.
A 9-inch (23-centimeter) knife, with a 4.5-inch (11.5-centimeter) blade, was recovered at the scene, police said.
The attacker, who appears in a video speaking English with a heavy accent, was shot by police who arrived at the scene, after he refused to put down his weapon.
He was evacuated to a hospital under arrest, and was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital, police told local New York media.
A witness told the New York Daily News that the suspect, who was reportedly a homeless man with a criminal record, entered the complex screaming: “I will kill the Jew, I want to kill the Jew.”
A Chabad spokesperson said the attack was most likely not terror-related.
“There is a 98% chance that this wasn’t a hate incident or a nationalistically motivated incident,” he told Army Radio.
The spokesperson said that many “borderline homeless” people visited the Jewish center late at night, hoping to enter to warm up. He said that there was most likely “an unpleasant exchange” between attacker and victim, after which “the stabber took out a kitchen knife and screamed at the Jewish youth that he would kill him.”
The spokesman said Rosenblat was stabbed repeatedly in the neck area, and once in the abdomen.
NEW YORK: Public asked to Daven for Levy Ben Reizel (22) stabbed at Chabad 770 HQ, in stable condition, suspect shot. pic.twitter.com/N3nUKhIltk
— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) December 9, 2014
Rosenblat is a resident of Beitar Illit, according to Yeshiva World News.
A video posted online showed the confrontation between the attacker, police and members of the Chabad sect inside the iconic 770 Eastern Parkway building.
In the video, the man with a knife threatens a Jewish man while a police officer instructs the attacker repeatedly to put down his weapon.
At the same time, a Jewish man attempts to calm the situation, asking the officer not to shoot.
The assailant at first puts down his knife, but then picks it up again and appears to lunge forward toward a cop.
After about a minute, the attacker is shot and crumples to the floor.
Witnesses on the scene told the Ynet news outlet the victim “had tried to run away and lost a lot of blood. Meanwhile, a policeman came and fired one shot at the attacker’s abdomen.”
NYPD officers closed off the surrounding area and launched an investigation.
The Crown Heights neighborhood was the site of several days of deadly riots in 1991 after a car in the motorcade of Chabad grand rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson struck and killed a 7-year-old black boy.