JERUSALEM: An Israeli police officer inadvertently invited a Palestinian gunman into his home after the Tel Aviv shooting thinking he was a civilian fleeing the scene of the attack, media reported Friday.
Two Palestinians opened fire on Israelis in a popular Tel Aviv market at random on Wednesday, killing four people and injuring at least five others.
Hundreds of civilians fled the scene when the attack started, including the off-duty police officer, his wife and in-laws who were out having ice cream, the Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported.
"We started to run towards the house, in order to be in a safe place and for my husband to take his handgun," the police officer's wife, identified only by her first name Ofri, told the newspaper.
"We got into the building and opened the apartment door and then we saw that another person had joined us. We asked him who he was and he didn't speak, just asked for 'water, water'," she said.
Ofri said the man was wearing a tight fitting black suit and tie.
"We thought that he was a civilian like us," she said.
The police officer then grabbed his gun and rushed back out to the scene of the attack at Tel Aviv's Serona market, leaving the alleged attacker at home with his wife and her parents.
Upon arrival the officer saw a gunman, who had been shot, wearing an identical suit as the man he had left at home with his wife.
He immediately made the connection, raced back home and arrested the man.
"My husband came in with his gun drawn, grabbed the terrorist, put him on the floor and handcuffed him," Ofri said.
"At first we didn’t understand why he was doing this to the innocent civilian who had been sitting with us, so frightened. But then he said: 'he’s dressed just like the other terrorist,'" she added.
Police declined to confirm or deny the report, pointing to a gag order on details of the case.