A 22-year-old Palestinian man reportedly attempted to steal a soldier's weapon on a Jerusalem bus on Oct. 12, before another passenger tried to overpower him. The man, identified as Muhammad Shmasanah from the village of Katana in the West Bank, was shot dead by authorities, YNet News reports.
According to police, Shmasanah went to the back of the bus where he found a seat next to a soldier. He then allegedly started stabbing the soldier with a knife, before attempting to take his weapon.
A police officer was on the bus at the time, and ran towards Shmasanah as he was attacking the soldier, trying to pin the attacker to the floor. The officer was joined by two other passengers who reportedly managed to prevent Shmasanah from cocking the soldier's weapon, which he continued to try to do.
Passengers urged the driver to stop the bus and open the doors, so they could get off and notify police. It was at this point that Yair Ben-Shabbat, a passerby who happened to have a pair of nunchucks in his bag, saw the ongoing struggle inside the bus and decided to help, reports TheBlaze.
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“I saw a struggle inside the bus. I asked, ‘What’s going on?’ and was told someone was trying to grab a soldier’s weapon,” Ben-Shabbat told Israel’s 0404 News.
Ben-Shabbat said he struck Shmasanah six times with his nunchucks, which caused him to let go of the soldier's weapon. He was later lauded as a hero for his role in stopping the attacks by YNet and Ma'ariv, an Israeli newspaper.
After the altercation, a nearby police team entered the bus to take custody of Shmasanah. When they tried to apprehend him, one of the officers' pistols fell, which Shmasanah then grabbed and tried to cock, according to Israeli police sources. At this point, another officer shot the assailant and killed him.
The soldier who was stabbed was later taken to a hospital and was reported to be in fair to moderate condition, according to YNet News. The attack came on the same day as three other stabbing attacks in Jerusalem.