Man shot dead by police for allegedly trying to stab cops; family: Preventable death

Netanya police: Suspect attacked mom, rushed at officers. Family: He had mental health issues, didn’t assault mother, was having seizure, and lethal fire after Taser unnecessary

Illustrative: A police vehicle at a crime scene in Netanya, October 14, 2018. (Flash90)
Illustrative: A police vehicle at a crime scene in Netanya, October 14, 2018. (Flash90)

A man was shot dead by police in Netanya Friday night after allegedly assaulting his mother and attempting to stab officers, officials said.

However, a lawyer representing the family said the death of the man, who suffered mental health issues, could have been prevented.

The 34-year-old man, who was named Saturday as Michael Hasson, was initially reported to have attacked his mother in an unspecified manner, and then barricaded himself inside the apartment, while smashing window panes.

The force said neighbors called police and the latter attempted to subdue Hasson, who then pulled out knives and rushed at them.

Police said he was initially Tasered but continued to move toward the officers on the scene, putting them at risk, leading cops to fire at him.

Medics who arrived at the scene declared him dead.

However many circumstances surrounding the incident and the alleged domestic assault were unclear.

Attorney Rotem Cohen, who represents Hasson’s family, told the Kan public broadcaster that his death was preventable.

“The report that the woman was attacked by her son, which brought police to the scene, was not accurate,” Cohen told the Kan public broadcaster. “The dire outcome could have been prevented.”

Cohen told the broadcaster that witnesses said the man was initially subdued by officers with a Taser, and that there was no need for the deadly use of live fire.

According to the family, at least one of the officers on the scene was already acquainted with them and had been called to a previous incident which resulted in the hospitalization of Hasson in a mental health institution.

His sister told the Ynet news site that her brother had severe epilepsy, and that what was reported to the police as a domestic assault was in fact the man having a seizure.

“Why did they shoot him at close range? Why did he need to be shot after the Taser?” asked his sister, who was not named. “He took care of his mother all week and he was here with her. Why shoot a person having a seizure?”

Hasson’s brother-in-law asked similar questions about the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

“They know him, know he was hospitalized. Why shoot him at such close range? If he ran at them with a knife and threatened, shoot him in the legs. Why kill?” the man said.

The Kan report also noted that Hasson’s mother showed no signs of being injured in the Friday night incident.

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