U.S. Killer Slain by Israel Special Forces After Prison Shootout

Image: Samuel Sheinbein in an Israeli court
Samuel Sheinbein appears in an Israeli court in 1999.Reuters, file

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An American serving time in Israel for a Maryland murder was killed by special forces Sunday, after he shot several guards with a stolen gun and barricaded himself inside his prison compound, police said.

Samuel Sheinbein opened fire on three guards, wounding two of them seriously, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the Associated Press. It was unclear how he got the weapon, but the 34-year-old then holed himself up inside the Rimonim Prison where a standoff ensued with counter-terrorism officers who had been dispatched to the scene.

He shot three more guards before the elite Israeli forces killed him, according to Rosenfeld.

Samuel Sheinbein appears in an Israeli court in 1999.Reuters, file

As a 17-year-old high school student in 1997, Sheinbein admitted strangling 19-year-old Alfredo Enrique Tello Jr with a rope and hitting him several times with a sharp object, according to the Associated Press.

Detectives found Tello’s charred, dismembered body wrapped in trash bags in the vacant house near Sheinbein’s home in Aspen Hill, Md., the Washington Post reported. Another teenager charged in the killing, Aaron Needle, took his own life while in a Marlyand jail.

With detectives hot on his heels, Sheinbein escaped to Israel, where he applied for and received Israeli citizenship, according to the country’s Haaretz newspaper.

An Israeli law prohibiting his extradition led to the U.S. Congress briefly threatening to withdraw aid to the Jewish state. Israel’s parliament later changed the law as a result.

Sheinbein was instead sentenced to 24 years by an Israeli court for the crime in 1999.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.