15 rounds fired in "a number of different directions" on a sidewalk and at a pub along Dizengoff Street, police say
Surveillance videos appear to show the attacker before and during the 2:40 p.m. shooting
Israel has been hit by wave of stabbings of civilians and soldiers
A gunman on Friday sprayed bullets from an automatic weapon near a pub in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, killing two people and injuring at least seven others before fleeing, sparking a massive manhunt, police said.
The shooting left police scouring about a 2-mile area of the city along the Mediterranean Sea, with roadblocks set up, national police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
More than 15 rounds were fired in “a number of different directions” on a sidewalk outside the pub on Dizengoff Street – a road famous for its shops, restaurants and bars – Rosenfeld said. The shooting happened outside the Simta pub, according to an address provided by police.
“The Israeli national police … are still investigating and trying to determine whether it is a terrorist attack or a criminal … incident,” Rosenfeld said.
The surveillance videos aired by Israeli news media appear to show the attacker before and during the 2:40 p.m. shooting, hours before Shabbat, Judaism’s day of rest that starts on Friday evening.
In one video, the shooter can be seen putting a bag down on a shopping cart, pulling out what appears to be a gun, stepping out in the open and pointing the weapon.
In the other video, the shooter is seen outside opening fire. In the foreground, in what appears to be an establishment’s outdoor seating area, patrons hurry away.
Haim Pinto, owner of a jewelry store near the pub, said he was outside closing his shop when the shooting began.
“I saw people running shouting, ‘Terrorist, terrorist!’” Pinto said in a telephone interview with CNN.
He said a shooter was “firing in every direction while he was running.” Pinto said he went back into his shop, where he hid with two other people in a restroom.
“[It was] lucky that today was cold and wet, so that there were not too many people out,” Pinto said. “Dizengoff Street on Friday is usually packed, and we are lucky that there was bad weather so there were not so many people.”
Two Israeli nationals were killed, Rosenfeld said. Four other people were seriously injured, and three were moderately injured.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the spate of attacks, starting in October 2015, a “wave of terror.” Twenty Israelis were killed from October to mid-November alone, with others injured, the government said.
Palestinian officials, meanwhile, have claimed Israeli authorities have repeatedly gone too far, saying that Israeli forces killed more than 80 Palestinians in the same period. The figure that includes protesters who died in clashes, as well as alleged attacks.
CNN’s Ian Lee and Don Melvin contributed to this report.