Shooter in Dispute Over a Parking Spot in Central Israel Mall Charged With Murder

Victor Katan, 74, lost his temper and shot after his parking rival pushed his wife to the ground

Victor Katan, 74, who was indicted for the murder of Ofir Hasday, 40, over a parking spot.
Ilan Assayag

Victor Katan, 74, was indicted for murder on Wednesday after he shot and killed Ofir Hasday, 40, during an argument over a space in the parking garage of a mall in Ramle last month.

According to the indictment, Katan fired without warning, shooting Hasday first in the leg and then in the chest, causing the younger man’s death.

Katan was licensed to own a gun and ammunition.

Evidence gathered by prosecutors includes statements by the wives of both men as well as a third woman who was also at the scene. Katan also reconstructed what he said were his actions at the scene.

Despite claims made during detention hearings for Katan, prosecutors did not have video or audio recordings of the incident, than that obtained from the body cameras of police officers who responded to the shooting.

On July 28, Katan and his wife drove to the Ramle Azrieli Mall and searched for a spot in the parking garage. Hasday was also searching for a spot. His wife Dikla and two of their daughters were with him in the car.

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According to the indictment, at one point Katan’s wife got out of the car and began looking for a spot on foot, as her husband continued to circle.

Katan’s wife and the Hasday's saw an empty spot at the same time. Katan reached it first and parked, but at an angle so that his car protruded into the adjacent space.

According to the charge sheet, Hasday got out of his car. He approached Katan’s wife, who was standing behind her family’s car, and yelled: “Why are you taking two spaces?” They began arguing and the wife hit Hasday with her bag. Hasday yelled: “Why are you hitting me?” and pushed her with both hands. Katan’s wife fell to the ground and Hasday moved toward his car.

Katan saw all this from his car. According to the indictment, he got out of his car, taking with him the bag containing his pistol and placing it on the trunk of the car. After his wife fell, he approached Hasday and yelled: “Why did you hit my wife?” Katan took out his gun and without any warning shot Hasday at close range, hitting his upper thigh.

Hasday remained standing and shouted: “Why are you shooting me?” Katan’s wife also yelled at him to stop. Katan then aimed for Hasday’s upper body and fired again, hitting his chest. Hasday collapsed and lost consciousness. He was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead.

Moran Levy, one of Katan’s lawyers, said the indictment ignored the statements of his client and his wife “and does not describe the deceased’s aggressive assault of [Katan’s] wife.

Daniel Kfir, who is also representing Katan, added that “the court and the prosecution agreed with us and sent Katan for psychiatric evaluation of his condition at the time of shooting. We believe that diagnosing his state at the time of the incident is critical for his defense, and we’ll do everything we can to prove this with the help of medical experts.”