A knife-wielding intruder stabbed a religious student in a Crown Heights synagogue before dawn Tuesday, and was shot dead by a single police bullet, after he apparently lunged at a police officer. Much of the standoff was captured on a cellphone video shot during the police standoff.
Police responding to the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters on Eastern Parkway at around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday discovered a 49-year-old man, later identified as Calvin Peters, holding a knife after attacking 22-year-old student Levi Yitzchak Rosenblat, from Beitar Ilit, Israel, in the temple.
Rosenblat was taken to Kings County Hospital Tuesday before being transferred to a Manhattan hospital to undergo "emergency surgery due to bleeding which is putting pressure on his brain,” said The Yeshiva World .
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In the video of the incident, Peters is urged by several worshippers to drop the knife, before a policeman can be seen pointing his gun at Peters and telling him to drop the weapon. After just under a minute, Peters places the knife on a desk, then, as the police officer holsters his pistol and approaches Peters, the man appears to lunge at the officer. A single shot can be heard and the video ends.
Peters was shot once in the torso, said the NYPD, and was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital.
Peters entered the building with a four-inch blade in hand as he shouted "Kill the Jews," Rabbi Motti Seligson, a spokesperson for Chabad-Lubavitch, said in an e-mail.
"We commend the heroic efforts of the individuals who were present and took immediate action, if not for their intervention the outcome could have been, G-d forbid, far worse,” said Seligson.
A statement released by Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated that Peters suffered from mental health issues.
"We as a society must do more for those who struggle with these challenges," de Blasio said.
De Blasio ordered police to increase security at Jewish religious institutions across the city as a precaution while the investigation is underway.