09:55 IL: A male grabbed the gun of a security guard in the Eilat Leonardo Club Hotel on Friday morning, 19 Tishrei 5773 and opened fire. He killed a female and is now holed up in a room. Police have responded and are assessing the situation and deciding on what action to take. It appears the person who was killed in an employee and the shooting is the result of an argument. The shooter is reportedly a US citizen.
According to preliminary reports, the shooter has at least one hostage and is refusing to negotiate with police.
A large police force is on hand. Guests of the hotel have been instructed to lock themselves in their rooms.
Israel Radio reports the shooter is an American citizen who worked in the hotel kitchen as a new immigrant. Witnesses explain he got into an argument with another worker, a female. He grabbed a security guard’s gun after he responded to the report of an argument and opened fire, killing the woman.
Another report states the dead person is the security guard. Obviously there is confusion regarding the events as the incident has not yet been secured.
The hotel reports it is filled to capacity. The hotel is the last in the row of hotels if one counts from the water heading north. There are at least 300 rooms.
Israel Police Yomam anti-terror commandos have taken up position in the hotel and hostage negotiators are deciding on the course of action. A police official stated with absolute certainty that there are no hostages — the shooter is holed up alone.
According to Walla News, the shooter was employed in the hotel kitchen and he was fired a few days ago. Israel Radio is now reporting the shooter has been taken into custody. One person has been killed.
Police have shot and killed the shooter, the American citizen who was fired from his job a number of days ago. The incident is over.
Police report the slain gunman was a 23-year-old New York resident who arrived in Israel during the summer months on the Jewish Agency for Israel’s “Oranim” program.
Jewish Agency officials are working to contact family members in the United States.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)