August 1st, 2009
Update: The Jerusalem Post has updated its report to indicate that two were killed and fifteen wounded, and not three killed and fourteen wounded as they reported earlier.
The Jerusalem Post has the developing news:
Three people were killed and 14 people were wounded – two seriously, three moderately and the rest lightly – in a shooting at the Bar Noir, a center for youth run by the Tel Aviv gay community, on Saturday night.
According to eyewitnesses, an unidentified assailant dressed in black opened fire from an automatic weapon inside the building, located at the corner of Nahmani and Ahad Ha’am streets, at approximately 10:40 p.m.
Witnesses told Israeli television that the black-clad, masked gunman stormed into the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association building and opened fire in a basement room where gay teenagers were holding a weekly support group. Most of the casualties were minors, a police spokesman said, adding that the assailant was believed to have used an automatic weapon such as an M-16 rifle.
An earlier Ha’aretz report says that the teen meeting typically draws 30 participants. That report continued:
Itzik Dror, a spokesman for the gay and lesbian community, said he was “shocked and shaken” by the event. Another community leader said that all activities for gay and lesbian groups had been suspended. “We thought we were living in a modern country where hate is not the standard,” he said.
Gay and lesbian organizations said they will hold an emergency meeting early today to develop policy on community events following the incident.
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who is also a gay rights activist, said after arriving at the shooting scene: “This is the most severe event to have hit the gay and lesbian community in the history of the State of Israel. I hope the shooter is caught. I do not want to come out with a statement, but this is a shocking thing.”
There were signs that this was a hate crime, he said.
Police have closed all gay bars in the area as a precaution.
Britain’s ITN has this coverage:
One eyewitness to the shooting said, “The place looked like a slaughterhouse.” Another witness said the shooter had worn a mask. Civilians were warned to stay away from the area.
Eyal Amit, a member of the GLBT organization, told Ynet that many of the teens who met at the clubhouse had not yet informed their loved ones of their sexual orientation. “It’s a very sensitive situation. What we know is that in order to get here one must come here especially. This was not some random shooting,” he said.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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