Police Shoot, Kill Stabbing Suspect at Brooklyn Jewish Center: NYPD

Police shot and killed a man they say stabbed an Israeli student in the neck at a Jewish center in Brooklyn and then lunged at officers with a knife, according to the NYPD.

Calvin Peters, 49, went into the Chabad-Lubavitch world headquarters in Crown Heights at about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, allegedly yelled that he would kill Jewish people and then attacked 22-year-old Levi Rosenblat, police and a spokesman for the center say.

Several other people were inside at the time of the stabbing and intervened.

Video captured on a bystander's cellphone shows Peters holding the knife as several people try to convince him to put the weapon down. The man asks a few of them, "Do you want me to kill you?" and an officer who had been flagged down outside the center is seen arriving at the scene with his handgun drawn.

The bystanders then ask the officer and Peters both to put their weapons down, while the officer repeatedly orders the suspect to drop the knife. The suspect asks the officer, "Are you cool?" and,"Do you want me to kill someone in here, yes or no" before putting the weapon on a table.

The officer then asks the suspect to put his hands up and the man lunges back to the table and grabs the knife. Several other officers are then seen surrounding the men, all with weapons drawn, and the person shooting the video runs behind a divider as a gunshot is heard off-camera.

Police say Peters was shot in the torso when he charged at one of them with the knife.

Peters was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 3 a.m., police say. Rosenblat, who was studying when he was stabbed, was taken to the hospital in stable condition. His condition was downgraded to critical later Tuesday, officials said. 

The officer who fired the shot was taken to Methodist Hospital for ringing in his ears, police say.

A 9-inch knife with a 4 1/2-inch blade was was recovered at the scene.

Chabad-Lubavitch spokeswoman Chaim Landa said that witnesses told her the attacker was heard saying "Kill the Jews" repeatedly.

"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, God forbid far worse," said Landa.

A worshiper told NBC 4 New York he saw the suspect come into the center Monday afternoon and asked to to join the synagogue. The suspect left when rabbis told him he had to be Jewish to attend but could convert to the faith.

Police said Tuesday that the suspect was emotionally disturbed.

The NYPD is increasing security at religious institutions but says the stabbing appears to be an isolated case.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Tuesday that from video he saw, the shooting appeared to have been justified.

"This shooting, while unfortunate, may have been unavoidable," he said. 

The Jewish Leadership Council said in a statement it was "shaken" by the attack.

"We are fortunate today that NYPD officers were nearby to prevent the attack from escalating, but we cannot continue to rely on such miracles," the statement continued. "As Jews in New York, we see anti-Jewish sentiment rise in all parts of the world. We want the mayor and the NYPD to view this morning’s attack as a warning of what is possible here at home."

Bratton said the department's hate crimes unit is investigating.

-- Lori Bordonaro contributed to this report

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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