At least two gay teens have been murdered and a further 12 injured at a shooting at a meeting for gay teenagers in Tel Aviv, Israel. Eye witnesses described the scene like a “slaughterhouse”.
Israeli media report that the incident took place during a meeting for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) teenagers. Many of the teenagers meeting at the venue were not yet out to their families.
Israeli media report that a masked gun man dressed head to toe in black entered the venue, underneath Cafe Noir in Tel Aviv, 28 Nachmani Street at the junction with Ahad Ha’am Street. He shot at least 14 people, spraying the interior of the club with automatic rifle fire and reportedly attempted to enter another venue. Media report that the venue was the scene of a “blood bath”
Eyal Amit of the gay organisation holding the event told Israeli website Ynet: “For 15 years this place has served as a club belonging to the union for private rights. Today a teen meeting was taking place.
“At some point someone walked in and began firing left and right. The shooter escaped and we are searching for the suspect. We have no specific description of the suspect or the circumstances.”
Eye witness Yaniv Weisman told Israel’s Channel 10: “This was a hate crime, a premeditated attack.”
Police continue to search for the man and have initiated roadblocks in the city. A police spokesman said that the incident was “most likely a criminal attack and not a terror attack.”
Openly gay Knesset lawmaker Nitzan Horowitz said it was “without a doubt the biggest ever attack on the Israeli gay community, we are all in shock.”
Police have closed all gay bars in the city.