Bus driver recalls trying to talk stabber down before shooting him

The bus driver who confronted and shot the Beersheba terrorist recounts the face-off with the assailant.

Arthur Chaimov tells Channel 12 that he arrived at a traffic circle near the BIG shopping center, and first thought there had been a car accident. “When I got there with the bus, I thought, what do I do, how do I drive through. I didn’t see the terrorist at that point,” he says.

Arthur Chaimov, a bus driver who shot a terrorist after a deadly stabbing attack in Beersheba, speaks to Channel 12 news (screenshot)

“I saw people gathered and I saw someone near a vehicle with a knife, drawn out, brandishing it. I looked and thought, ‘Maybe he has a knife’…I wanted to double check, not to assume [wrongly] that he was a terrorist,” Chaimov says. “I got out of the vehicle, I took my weapon, I got closer and then I saw he had a knife. I saw a man [lying] wounded. I told him several times: ‘I’m asking you to put down the knife. I won’t shoot you. He said ‘No.'”

Chaimov says he did not know at the time that the man had killed and wounded several people. He says he eventually shot the attacker, only when he had no choice.

“I told myself I was in danger, when he came in only a few meters from me, so I made a judgment call, what could I do. I had to shoot him.”

In a video, the assailant can be seen lunging at Chaimov when the driver and another man off to the side open fire, shooting the knifeman.

The assailant, right, being shot as he lunges with a knife, in Beersheba on March 22, 2022. (screen capture: Channel 13)

He stresses that he did all he could to avoid shooting and is pained to have shot the man, despite the murderous actions.

“He’s a person, not an animal you need to kill. He was also a person… We’re human beings, we’re not animals,” Chaimov says. “I’m not used to such a situation, to shoot a person. I’m sorry for him but he brought it on himself.”

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