Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Officer who killed Jerusalem terrorist: I did what was expected of me
Lieutenant who shot dead east Jerusalem resident who plowed into crowd with BMW recounts incident. 'I was afraid terrorist would put vehicle in reverse and run over more soldiers and civilians, so I aimed for his head and shot him 11 times through the windshield,' he says
"I realized that it was a terror attack, so I cocked my weapon and shot the perpetrator," recounted Lieutenant Elad, 23, the officer who killed the east Jerusalem resident who plowed a BMW into a crowd of pedestrians at a busy intersection in central Jerusalem near the Old City on Monday evening. At least 17 people were reportedly wounded in the attack, most of them soldiers belonging to the Artillery Corps.
"I did what is expected of every soldier or officer," he said.
A few hours after the incident Lieutenant Elad, who serves as deputy company commander in the Artillery Corps, said "We left for a 'Selichot Tour' in Jerusalem (Selichot are Jewish penitential prayers said during the High Holidays) on two armed buses carrying some 80 soldiers. We walked from Jaffa Street toward the Old City walls.
"I was walking with a group of soldiers. We arrived at Tzahal Square, where a large group of soldiers was situated on a small traffic island. Then I saw a BMW speeding toward the soldiers, and then soldiers flying over the car, which eventually hit the wall of a building; I understood it was a terror attack and immediately cocked my rifle."
The officer said that he feared the terrorist would recuperate and resume the attack. "I noticed that the terrorist was beginning to recover and I was afraid he would put the vehicle in reverse and run over more soldiers and civilians, so I aimed for his head and shot him 11 times through the windshield," he said.
According to Lieutenant Elad, at this point a civilian and police officer approached the vehicle and fired one or two bullets each at the terrorist.
"I continued to point my rifle at the terrorist and ordered the soldiers to seal off the area for fear the car was booby-trapped," recalled the officer, a married father of two from Givat Shmuel.