Jerusalem Security Guard Shoots Dead a Father and Daughter

Motive for the killing remains unclear as police investigate; Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat says it's a 'classic' crime that could happen anywhere.

A security guard shot and killed an attorney and the attorney's adult daughter in Jerusalem on Tuesday, in the fifth instance of civilians being killed by a security guard this year.

The gunman told police investigators he had a financial dispute with the lawyer, Natan Gorno, 56, who was representing him in a divorce. The other victim was Gorno's daughter, Yamit, 26.

The suspect, who is about 50 years old and lives near the capital, has a private security job in the city and has a licensed weapon. His public defender, attorney David Barhoom, told reporters his client has a history of psychiatric problems.

According to police, the suspect told investigators he gave Gorno a large advance payment but recently became dissatisfied with the lawyer's performance and asked for a partial refund. The suspect claimed he came to the office at Jerusalem's Clal Center on Tuesday morning to receive the money but was rebuffed. Investigators quoted him as telling them, during questioning, "I saw black. I don't remember. All I saw was black." He claimed he didn't understand what happened to him during those moments.

A bail hearing has been set for the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court this morning.

The suspect allegedly opened fire at the law office around 9 A.M. The office is located in the Clal building on Jaffa Road in central Jerusalem, adjacent to the Mahaneh Yehuda open market.

Following the shooting a large police force was deployed to the site, and Magen David Adom emergency services arrived on the scene. Medics tried, without success, to resuscitate the victims.

Several bullet wounds

The victims were apparently shot at close range inside the office. Each had several bullet wounds. After the building's security guard reached the scene, within seconds after the shots were fired, the suspect reportedly had already put down his gun and told the guard, "Call the police."

Shortly afterward Shlomo Ben Hayoun, a police officer who serves in the Traffic Police offices one floor up, came and handcuffed the suspect, and the man was taken in for questioning.

"[The suspect] didn't resist or say anything," Ben Hayoun related, adding, "He was very quiet, amazingly cool, as if he never committed a crime in his life."Zion Precinct Commander Brig. Gen. Amnon Alkalai told reporters that after his arrest the suspect was cooperating with police.

The Gornos are the fifth and sixth victims to die by a security guard's weapon this year.

The head of the Israel Security Association, Pini Schiff, called Israel an "armed state" and urged a reduction in the number of weapons held by private citizens and security firms. Schiff, formerly head of security at Ben-Gurion International Airport, said he has submitted a program to do just that to the Israel Police and the Public Security Ministry.

"Israel is an armed state. Tens of thousands of police officers, prison service employees, soldiers in compulsory service and reserve duty, members of the security forces and 180,000 additional citizens are in possession of permitted guns and carry their guns home daily," Schiff noted.

The president of the Israel Bar Association, Doron Barzilai, issued a statement expressing shock at the killing of a lawyer, allegedly by one of his clients, calling it "a black day for Israeli law and justice."

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat arrived at the scene on Tuesday morning and called the incident "a classic criminal case," saying such a shooting could happen anywhere.

Gili Cohen and Revital Hovel contributed reporting.