The volunteer policemen who fired at an 18-year-old naval cadet in October, in an incident which ended with his death, acted properly, a Police Investigation Unit probe into the much-publicized incident concluded Thursday.
Raz Attias was reportedly shot dead by volunteer police officers in a secluded forest near Beit Shemesh on October 18 following a car chase and a shootout. Police were alerted to his plans to commit a double suicide together with his girlfriend – whose identity has been withheld because she is a minor – after receiving a suicide note he sent to Channel 2 News.
Testimony in the probe showed that the volunteers, who recognized the car, saw Attias holding his girlfriend at gunpoint. Attias’s girlfriend told investigators that she “got cold feet,” and changed her mind about going through with the suicide pact, whereas Attias opened fire on the cops, injuring one of them, and was killed in their return fire.
The investigation findings indicated Attias was hit with several bullets in his back and head and, according to a ballistic expert, there is a reasonable possibility the fatal shot to his head came from his own gun.
The findings of the probe showed Attias’s actions posed real danger to the lives of his girlfriend and the law-enforcement officers at the scene, who at first fired warning shots into the air. After Attias fired his gun, lightly injuring one of the volunteers, the correct course of action would have been to neutralize the danger, the report suggested.
The tragedy prompted a flurry of accusations between the families of the two teenagers, as well as suggestions that the girl, who was pregnant, was unduly pressured by the religious anti-abortion organization Efrat to continue her unwanted pregnancy.