On Monday just before midnight, two men were severely injured in an act of violence that took place on Highway 6 near the Ben Shemen Interchange.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs Sleman Heen and Mohamed Ras were driving in a private ambulance in the vicinity when they noticed that traffic had suddenly come to a standstill by the entrance to a tunnel. Suspecting a car accident, they flicked on their lights and sirens and moved over into the emergency lane to get passed the traffic. A bit further into the tunnel, they found a damaged luxury car that seemed like it had crashed into the wall of the tunnel. Inside were two men: one in his 40s who suffered from a bleeding stab wound to his head while the other, a man in his 30s, had sustained more moderate injuries on his hand and back.
“We were convinced that this was a regular car accident, and even the type of injuries seemed consistent with this scenario,” Mohamed relayed after the incident. “Only later did we realize that they had probably been attacked.” The volunteers started providing initial treatment to the injured individuals, bandaging their wounds in order to stop the bleeding.
“While I was treating the man with the head injury, I heard a motorcycle approach us from behind,” Sleman recounted. “Suddenly, a man stood behind me and started shooting at point-blank range. Bullets flew between my legs and I didn’t have time to move. He fired off a few rounds, got back on his motorcycle, and sped off. Thankfully, when the shooting ended, I was unharmed, but two bullets hit the patient in his lower limbs. He started losing a lot of blood.”
When the shooting took place, Mohamed, who was treating the second patient, immediately ran to take cover. “When the shooting ended, we ensured that the shooter was gone and continued providing treatment, together with other medical responders who began to arrive,” he added. “We packed and bandaged the gunshot wounds to stop the bleeding, and provided both of the injured men with oxygen and fluids.”
A few minutes later, intensive care ambulances arrived at the scene and transported the injured to Rabin Medical Center and Sheba Tel-HaShomer Medical Center.
“It’s depressing when you come to provide assistance and get caught in a very dangerous situation,” Mohamed reflected after the incident. “We were very lucky not to get hurt.”
“This is not my first time treating gunshot injuries, but it’s a different feeling to get shot at while providing treatment, I’m still trying to take in what happened,” Sleman added. “I’m thankful that I wasn’t injured and that we were able to stabilize the patients and help save their lives.”