A 22-year-old Israeli man was stabbed at the Chabad world headquarters in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
The assailant was shot by police after refusing to drop the knife, and later died of his wounds.
The victim, Levi Rosenblat, suffered light to moderate wounds to his neck, head and abdomen. Rosenblat is a resident of Beitar Illit, a West Bank settlement. He is reported to be in stable condition at Kings County Hospital. He arrived in New York two weeks ago to study for the Rabbinate, according to the New York Daily News.
Police say the confrontation happened at 1:40 A.M. at 770 Eastern Parkway, which serves as the main Chabad synagogue and center of activity, and houses a yeshiva.
Chaim Landa, a spokesman for Chabad in New York, cited witnesses as saying that the attacker was heard saying repeatedly "Kill the Jews."
A witness flagged down a police officer, who confronted the assailant, identified as Calvin Peters, 49. Peters initially put the knife down but then picked it up again. More officers responded and ordered the man to drop the knife. Police say he refused and charged at one of the officers, who fired once, striking the man in the torso.
Peters was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police said Peters was from New York City and had a criminal history. Attorney Jeffrey A. St. Clair opened the Peters family's front door in a New York suburb and said the man had a history of bi-polar disorder.
"Calvin Peters was a loving and devoted father," he said. "And the family is quite frankly shocked and disappointed at what happened. Our prayers go out to the person that was injured. But we really ask that you respect our privacy and allow them to grieve."
St. Clair said there were no recent incidents that would have caused alarm. "No," he said. "Just total shock."
A 9-inch (23-centimeter) knife, with a 4 ½-inch (11.5-inch) blade, was recovered at the scene, police said.
"We commend the heroic efforts of the individuals who were present and took immediate action. If not for their intervention the outcome could have been, God forbid, far worse," said Landa.
Earlier, a Chabad spokesman in Israel told Army Radio that the attack wasn't terror-related or premeditated. "Incidents like these happen in Brooklyn every 15 minutes," he said.
Commenting on the attack, The Anti-Defamation League said in a statement, "We are alarmed and concerned by this senseless attack on a student at a Jewish place of study and worship. We appreciate the NYPD’s investigation into this crime to determine if the attacker’s motivation was driven by anti-Jewish or anti-Israel animus."
"This incident serves as a reminder to Jewish institutions - from Federations to synagogues to schools – to always remain vigilant, and consideration must always be given to safety and security."
Brooklyn: 770 Eastern Pkwy. Police Involved Shooting U/D; Perp shot by NYPD & male stabbed reportedly in stable cond. pic.twitter.com/jA0yYQtUfu
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