Student Who Helped Kill Gunman Defends Cop Who Didn't Pursue Him

Yeshiva student who helped cop shoot murderer of 8 boys rebutts claims he could have entered sooner.

Itzhak Dadon, the yeshiva student who together with Israel Defense Forces officer David Shapira shot the terrorist that killed eight people in a shooting at Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, does not blame the police officer who refrained from going after the gunman.

"I'm not judging him," Dadon told Haaretz. "I participated in the police probe that was carried out very professionally and respectfully. I understand it all happened in a few seconds. The policeman, who was on his way to enter, was shot at, after which he stayed back and did not storm the building."

Dadon himself reconstructed his own experience the night of the attack.

"I was studying alone at the front of the Torah study room when I heard the first round of fire. I realized it was a terror attack. The room's inhabitants quickly evacuated through the front door. I pulled my gun, climbed up to the row of windows facing the street and then jumped on to the roof of the dining room. I then jumped on to a separate roof overlooking the library and the library entrance. I lay on the roof with my gun ready for about five minutes. All that time I heard gunfire from inside. Because of the fire power, I was sure that there were a number of terrorists. Had I known it was only one, I probably would have gone inside.

Dadon continued: "I waited for the terrorist to come out. Then, the door to the library opened and the gunman fired in the air. Bullets flew past my ear. I carefully peeked down and the terrorist was gone.

"After a few seconds, I saw Shapira beneath with a rifle. An M-16. I shouted: 'Don't shoot me.' Shapira asked: 'Where did the terrorist go?' I said: 'Either the library or Torah study room. Shapira peeked into the library and went back to the Torah study room. At that point I saw the terrorist walking inside the library near the glass doors. He pressed his head against the window, with his Kalashnikov against his chest. Then, I shot two bullets. He swaggered and fell. His weapon fell to his side. Shapira fired at the same time as me, and then I emptied my clip on him. I saw him through the glass, falling."

Dadon was given an award in a ceremony held by Likud party members on Monday.