Suspected Gangland Shooting Leaves One Dead in Central Israel

The shooter, who was wearing a motorcycle helmet, shot at the victim in front of children who were alighting from a bus.

Police at the scene of Wednesday night's murder in Rishon Lezion.
Ilan Assayag

A 22-year-old man was killed during a fight in a public park in Rishon Lezion, near Tel Aviv, on Wednesday night. Police said the fight was between criminals and the victim was known to them.

The fight was preceded by a meeting between criminals in a local parking garage, the Israel Police said. Many of the participants were known to them as being tied to a protection racket.

At some point, a fight broke out between some of the participants, who called in reinforcements.

The killer, who arrived on a motorcycle and was wearing a helmet, allegedly asked the driver of the children's bus parked near the location of the fight to move away. The driver hesitated because children were still alighting from the bus.

At that point, the killer fired at the victim, hitting him in the upper torso and killing him.

The police, who arrived on the scene in response to reports of shouting and shots fired, found the vehicles of the participants in the fight still at the scene. Police are now trying to trace them.

The victim was confirmed dead by Magen David Adom paramedics at the scene. "When we arrived there, we found an unconscious man who had been shot in the upper body and was not breathing," said paramedic Ido Zach.

"We attempted to revive him, but his injuries were too severe and eventually we had to pronounce him dead."