Two gay youth are dead and several more are wounded after a masked gunman burst into a youth meeting at a gay community organization in Tel Aviv, Israel on Aug 1.
It happened at 10:40 pm local time at The Aguda near Nahmani St and Ahad Ha’am St. Eyewitnesses say a masked man burst into a meeting of the under-22 gay youth social group, spraying them with gunfire.
Dead are 26-year-old Nir Katz and 17-year-old Liz Tarbishi. Ten others remain in hospital, two in critical condition.
Within minutes of the attack, hundreds of members of Tel Aviv’s gay and lesbian communities rallied both at the scene and a few blocks away at the city’s Gay Community Centre in Meir Garden. They marched through the city and held vigil through the night (see raw video below).
“This is undoubtedly the worst incident targeting the gay community in Israel,” said openly gay Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz. “It has the characteristics of a hate crime, of someone who attacked to blindly strike out at every person on the spot.”
Israeli leaders including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and president Shimon Peres condemned the attack.
Watch raw video from the scene and subsequent protests below.
In this report from Al Jazeera English the man identified as Mike Hamel is acutally openly gay Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz. Hamel, chair of The Aguda, is the last speaker in this vid.
It’s worth noting also that several sources reported initially that the shooting happened in a “gay bar” or “gay club.” The shooting did not happen in a nightclub or pub. Also, some media outlets say three people died at the scene, but there were two confirmed dead the day after the shooting.