Police officers at scene of crime
Photo: Yaron Brener
Nir Katz, murdered at gay center
Lighting candles in memory of victims
Photo: Yaron Brener

Police launch manhunt for TA gay center shooter

Hours after deadly attack during meeting of gay and lesbian youth, 10 people injured in shooting still hospitalized. Police focusing search efforts on intelligence level. Signs calling for 'end to homophobia' placed at scene of incident in memory of the two victims

The police continued Sunday morning to search for the person responsible for Saturday evening's shooting attack during a meeting of gay and lesbian youths in central Tel Aviv.


Two people were murdered in the attack and 10 were injured, four of them sustaining serious wounds. The names of the two victims were cleared for publication Sunday morning: Nir Katz, 26, of Givatayim, and Liz Trubeshi, 16, of Holon


After deploying a large number of forces in the area throughout the night, the police are now focusing their search efforts on the intelligence level.


Seven of the injured were operated on throughout the night, and two others were expected to undergo surgery for the removal of shrapnel and bullets.


Two of the injured were hospitalized in serious condition at the Sourasky Medical Center's intensive care unit. Two other people, one in serious condition and the other suffering from moderate wounds, were also hospitalized at the Tel Aviv medical center.


Another person in serious condition was hospitalized at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where he is being anaesthetized and given artificial respiration. Three other patients are in light to moderate condition. Two people were hospitalized in light condition at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.


Police officials said they were looking into all leads, including the possibility of a hate crime.


Hours after the deadly attack, signs calling for an "end to homophobia" and flags of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community were placed at the scene of the shooting, as a silent testimony to the horror which took place there on Saturday night.


Gunshots from an automatic weapon where heard at the gay youth center in the heart of Tel Aviv at around 10:40 pm. A man dressed in black escaped from the place, and was later seen near Rothschild Boulevard.


Tel Aviv District Commander Shahar Ayalon told reporters that the police had no early information about the shooting attack and that there had been no threats on members of the gay and lesbian community.


Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai expressed his shock over the incident on Sunday morning, saying that the city "has been since its inception a stronghold of pluralism, tolerance, and openness, and no one will damage the character of the city.


"We will continue to provide a warm home for the gay community in our city, and we will fight for the right of every person to live his life in our city according to his belief and conscience," he added.


Meital Yasur-Beit Or contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 08.02.09, 09:31
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