A 31-year-old woman was murdered on Monday after being caught in the middle of an unsuccessful assassination attempt amongst known criminals at the Bat Yam promenade.
Named as Margarita Lautin, a social worker from Yahud, who came to enjoy the early evening sun at the beach with her husband Alexander and their two children. The couple were married for six years, after immigrating from Russia nearly two decades ago.
An initial inquiry into the incident determined that two men arrived at the Tobago beach in the early evening and suddenly opened fire at several men known to be connected to the criminal underworld, specifically to the Aberjil crime family.
The targets had apparently attempted to run away from the shooters, but by doing so led the line of fire to Lautin, who was shot in the chest. The two assassins fled the scene on a motorcycle, but were apprehended by the police.
Another man was wounded in the face. Paramedics also treated several people for shock at the scene.
Police officers who arrived at the scene detained the two men they believe were the intended targets for questioning.
'We couldn't get away'
Less than 20 minutes before the horrible tragedy took place, the Lautin family took what they didn't know would be their last picture with Margarita.
Her husband, Alexander, watched on as paramedics fought to resuscitate her. She was evacuated to the Wolfson Hospital in critical condition, but doctors were unable to stabilize her and she died an hour later.
The family on the beach, 20 minutes before (Reproduction photo: Avi Cohen)
"The son of a b**** who ordered this assassination should be taken out. Look what he destroyed. I was used to be Margarita's husband and now, I am a widower. The foot soldier you sent who killed my wife and ruined my family should pay as my wife did," he said, visibly shaken.
"We were sitting at the beach when we heard gunshots. We saw them running towards us. We couldn't get away, and one bullet hit my wife and killed her."
The police said it viewed the wounding of innocent bystanders with the utmost severity and said no effort would be spared in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
"We will continue our uncompromising battle against organized crime and those behind it," police said.
Police forces from the Ayalon district arrived at the beach en masse. Simultaneously, the forensic teams arrived in order to gather evidence.
Roni Lipshitz contributed to this report