Walid, a victim twice over
Photo: Roee Idan

Beersheba shooting victim: Police shot me

Omar Walid, Bedouin who protected victim of Beersheba bank gun shooting with his body, awoke today after 10 days on life support, says: I was about to exit the bank, but police shot, cuffed me'; police insist victim's claim inconsistent with investigation results

Omar Walid, who was seriously injured in the Beersheba bank shooting last week, said Thursday that the police – and not shooter Itamar Alon – were those who shot him. According to Walid, when policed arrived at the bank, they suspected him of involvement in the incident and therefore handcuffed him when evacuating him from the premises.


Police rejected the accusations, insisting that Walid's claims were incongruent with investigation results. Police attempted to verify the issue with Walid, but upon arriving at the hospital to talk with him Thursday, they ended up clashing with his family, which led to the arrest of four of his family members on suspicion of assaulting officers.


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Walid, a 22-year-old Bedouin, awoke Thursday after being unconscious and on life support for 10 days. Despite sustaining gun injuries, Walid shielded Remo Vaknin with his body during the shooting. Vaknin arrived at the hospital Thursday to pay Walid a visit.  

רמו וקנין (מימין) והיימן וואליד, היום בסורוקה (צילום: אביעד נלביצקי)

Omar Walid's brother (L), Vaknin (photo: Aviad Nelvitski)


Walid's friend, Idan Sabri, was killed in the shooting along with the bank's manager, Avner Cohen, his deputy, Meir Zitun and client of the bank Anat Even Haim.   


Thursday, at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Walid attempted to recount for journalists the events that took place on the fateful day: "I went with Idan (Sabri) to the bank so he could open an account. We waited for them to open the account and then the gunfire began."


"We fell on the ground and hid under a table, playing dead. I remember one of the bank employees hiding behind her chair. He (the shooter) came and pulled her back by her hair. Then, I heard police come in and I was sure I was saved."


'They shot me'

According to Walid, at that point, failing to foresee the police's reaction, he was sure the horrific event had come to an end. "I was on my way out but the cops thought it was me, so they shot me and tied my hands behind my back," Walid said.


"I remember being lifted, but because the police thought I was the shooter they tied my hands behind my back.


"The police shot me, I was about to exit the bank, but the police shot and cuffed me. Now, I can only dream of standing on my own two feet and seeing my family, which I miss so much."


סניף הבנק שבו אירע השוד בבאר-שבע

Hapoalim Bank became scene of shootout


The police did not argue with the initial claim of Walid's family, who argued that Walid was handcuffed when he was evacuated from the scene to the hospital. According to police, they were acting in accordance with murder scene protocol.


The police further claimed that Walid's unconscious state denied them the possibility of questioning him and ascertaining his role in the incident.


In response to the accusations that he was shot by the officers, the police said that the results of the crime scene investigation revealed that police did not fire on the injured Walid at any time during the incident.


A source with the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba said it was possible Walid was wounded by the same firearm with which the rest of the victims were shot.


Police added that "In the victim's body no bullet was found and the police are fuious at the allegations, which are groundless. It’s absurd that instead of being grateful to police coming to the crime scene within minutes and courageously pulling him out and rushing him to the hospital while giving him medical care and probably saving his life, the victim lashes out at the police."


The police forensics report showed that two 9 mm bullets at the scene were shot by police, one at a plant and on at the bathroom door. The rest of the bullets were 0.45 mm, fired by the shooter.


Police, family members clash

A few hours after Walid claimed police shot him, police officers arrived at his hospital bed at the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba for questioning. Walid's family members asked the police to allow the victim to rest, prompting a heated argument at the end of which four of Walid's family members were arrested on suspicion of assaulting police officers.


"Why did they come now?" one of Walid's relatives asked. "Why did they have to create such mayhem? Wasn’t the injustice of evacuating him to the hospital in handcuffs enough? Why add insult to injury?"


The family members insisted police could have waited a few days.


The Negev District police confirmed that officers arrived at Walid's beside, but claim they were attacked by visitors in his room. According to police, four of the attackers were taken to questioning.




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פרסום ראשון: 05.30.13, 21:11
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