TEL AVIV — A Palestinian motorist opened fire on passers-by near the national police headquarters in Jerusalem Sunday, leaving two people dead and several others wounded before being fatally shot, police and medics said.
The attacker’s victims were a policeman and a 60-year old woman who were taken to area hospitals with serious injuries but later died, hospital officials said.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld identified the dead officer as staff Sgt. Major Yosef Kirma, a member of the special patrol unit.
Earlier, paramedic Raphael Herbst said six others had been wounded and were also in hospitals.
"When we arrived on the scene we saw an unconscious woman in critical condition with shooting wounds in her upper extremities," he told NBC News.
“We provided her with initial medical treatment, stopped her bleeding, and evacuated her to the hospital.”
Citing police spokeswoman Luba Samri, the Associated Press reported that the attacker drove toward a train station, shooting the 60-year-old victim and another woman who was sitting in her car. Motorcycle police chased the assailant, who was killed after opening fire on authorities, Samri told the AP.
Reuters identified the attacker as a 39-year-old member of Hamas, according to the group. An Israel Prisons Service spokesman told Reuters that he was to begin a four-month jail sentence next week for the assault of a police officer.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner condemned what he called a terrorist attack "in the strongest possible terms."
"We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick and full recovery for those wounded," Toner said in a statement.
The attack comes amid a spate of Palestinian assaults, mainly stabbings, which has killed 34 Israelis and two visiting Americans since it began just over a year ago.
About 218 Palestinians have been killed during that period. Israel says the vast majority of them were attackers.