American man opens fire, kills 1 at Israeli resort hotel
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JERUSALEM -- A man opened fire in an Israeli hotel Friday morning, killing one man before being shot and killed by a counter-terror unit called to the scene.
Witnesses said the incident took place as the breakfast hall at the Leonardo Club Hotel in the southern resort town of Eilat was filling with guests. Michal Buaron, vacationing at the hotel with her family, told Channel 2 TV they were on their way to the dining hall ‘when people started running out like a hurricane’ and guests were ordered to return to their rooms and stay there.
Israeli media reported that the shooter was a former employee who came to the hotel to have words with another employee with whom he’d fallen out during his employment. When an armed hotel security guard arrived on the scene to intervene, the man reportedly grabbed the guard’s handgun and ran into the kitchen, fatally shooting one man.
A counter-terror unit was quickly dispatched to the hotel, as police issued instructions to guests over a public address system to remain in their rooms. After a short standoff, the shooter was killed.
The circumstances are under investigation, but local media said the shooter was an American citizen in his early 20s and that his victim was a 50-year-old man.
Media reports said the shooter had arrived in Israel on a program for American Jews.
The shooting took place during one of the busiest times of year in Eilat, a Red Sea resort town that attracts many local tourists on vacation during the Jewish holidays.
-- Batsheva Sobelman