Residents: Tel Aviv shooter is 'definitely sane'

Residents of Ramat Aviv neighborhood where Nashat Melhem worked as vegetable delivery boy dismiss family claims he was 'insane.'

Cynthia Blank ,

Nashat Melhem
Nashat Melhem
Israel Police

Extensive searches continue Sunday in the Tel Aviv area for Nashat Melhem - the Arab-Israeli who murdered two Israelis Friday afternoon in a shooting attack at a pub on Dizengoff Street. 

Residents of the Ramat Aviv in north Tel Aviv told Channel 2 on Sunday that Melhem had previously been employed at a vegetable shop in the neighborhood. 

Despite claims from family members that Melhem was "insane," the residents stressed he "may have been hot-tempered, but he was definitely sane."

According to residents, Melhem worked as a delivery boy for the vegetable shop until 2008. People who knew him from that period claim that "everyone here in the neighborhood knows him well. His nickname was 'nashnash.'"

"It's not surprising that if he's hiding - he would choose this area," residents said. "He was a delivery boy here and he knows the area he delivered in well. That's why he did this in a place he knows well."

Security forces are maintaining a particularly heavy presence in Ramat Aviv as the entire city remains on alert. Several local business owners have been questioned about information on Melhem.  

Authorities have reason to believe Melhem is hiding out somewhere in the greater Tel Aviv area. He is assumed to still be armed.