Watch: Rabbis Confront Crown Heights Stabber

Footage shows how Chabad rabbis, students attempted to talk deranged attacker into dropping weapon, urged police not to shoot.

Ari Soffer,

Scene of Crown Heights stabbing
Scene of Crown Heights stabbing
BenamsPhoto

New footage from the scene of a stabbing at Crown Height's Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters reveals how rabbis bravely attempted to coax the attacker into surrendering, and even tried to persuade police not to shoot him.

The apparently deranged man walked into the building and confronted rabbinical students at around 1:40 a.m. After conversing with them for a few minutes, and at one point asking for a Bible, he then stabbed a 22-year-old Israeli student in the head. 

The victim, Levi Rosenblat, originally from Betar Illit, then ran out the building to get help while bleeding profusely from his wounds. He is described as being in a serious but stable condition, and was apparently conscious when taken in for treatment; his family have asked for prayers to be said for the recovery of Levy Yitzhak ben Raizel.

Meanwhile, NYPD officers rushed to the scene and confronted the man as he waved his knife and repeatedly asked students: "do you want me to kill you?"

According to he New York Daily Post, at one point the man was heard muttering "I want to kill the Jew!" 

But despite the danger, Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis and students can be seen attempting to calm the visibly agitated man down in a desperate attempt to end the ordeal without bloodshed.

Warning: Strong language

When a police officer approaches the suspect one of the rabbis - who appears to have an Israeli accent  - even appeals to him "don't shoot!" and urges the assailant to drop the knife.

Eventually, the attacker - now named as 49 year-old Calvin Peters - did indeed put the knife down. But hopes for a peaceful resolution were dashed when he suddenly grabbed it again as police approached and began waiving it aggressively. 

The cameraman is forced to flee the scene as Peters makes a dash for him, shortly after which gunshots can be heard. Police say he attempted to stab arresting officers, one of whom then shot him in the torso.

Peters eventually died from his wounds at Kings County Hospital.

A spokesman for Chabad-Lubavitch said they were "98 percent sure" the attack was not a premeditated hate-crime, but more likely the actions of a mentally-unstable man.

Another spokesman, Rabbi Motti Seligson, praised the quick actions of police and bystanders.

"While we are very pained by everything that has unfolded, we are very grateful to the police for their quick response and are working closely with the authorities in their ongoing investigation," he said.

"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, G-d forbid far worse. We continue to pray for the young man who is in stable condition."




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