A young man was shot after he threatened police with an Uzi submachine gun at the end of an early-morning pursuit in the Arab town of Tira in central Israel on Sunday, police said. The man, Ovad al-Kadir Nassar, 18, was taken to a hospital in Kfar Saba where he died of his wounds.
The incident began at 1:30 a.m. when a police patrol spotted two masked men in the street, one of whom was carrying an Uzi. The officers immediately challenged the men and the gunman bolted with the weapon.
As police gave pursuit, the man turned to face them, aimed his weapon and threatened to shoot. One of the officers opened fire and the man collapsed to the ground, police said. An ambulance rushed the man to Meir Hospital in critical condition but he died a short while later. The other man was arrested by police at the scene.
The officers said they felt a clear and present danger to their own lives and believed that if they hadn’t shot him, the gunman would have opened fire first. Police who recovered the Uzi said it was loaded and cocked with a bullet in the chamber.
Local residents were reportedly angry at the outcome of the incident and complained that police were just as violent as criminals.
Police were patrolling the streets of Tira as part of an ongoing operation to clamp down on gun crime in Tira and surrounding communities.