The stolen firearm
The stolen firearmPolice spokesperson

A patient being treated at a hospital in the coastal city of Ashdod was arrested Tuesday morning after he stole a pistol from a hospital guard.

The man was being treated at the Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod Tuesday, when he stole a firearm from a local guard and fled the facility.

Hospital officials notified police, who dispatched a number of units to the scene.

Officers responding to the call spotted the suspect as he left the hospital, and pursued him on foot. One police officer fired warning shots in the air, ordering the suspect to surrender himself to authorities. The suspect was apprehended and placed under arrest shortly afterwards.

Authorities say the incident does not appear to be nationalistically motivated.

The suspect had been evacuated to Assuta earlier Tuesday morning from a gas station near the entrance of Gan Yavneh.

When MDA first responders arrived at the gas station to provide emergency care and to evacuate the man to the hospital, the suspect assaulted the paramedics, injuring one. The paramedic has been listed in light condition.

The suspect also attacked hospital staff in the emergency room at Assuta.

Police say that based on the initial investigation, the suspect is suffering from mental illness.

“Innocent lives were saved which could have been harmed by the suspect while he was armed and in a distressed mental state,” a police spokesperson said.