'People laid on the floor, screaming in panic'

Passenger on bus targeted by drive-by shooting recalls harrowing experience under fire. "People screamed Shema Yisrael".

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Shooting attack (archive)
Shooting attack (archive)
Flash 90

On Wednesday, terrorists opened fire on an Egged bus at Ramot Junction. The attack, made on a major thoroughfare just minutes from the Ramot neighborhood, stunned Jerusalem residents.

Shmuel P., a passenger on the bus targeted by the attackers, recounted the harrowing experience in an interview with Hamevasser.

A Jerusalem yeshiva student in his 20s, Shmuel regularly rides on the Egged 32 line from Ramot to downtown Jerusalem.

“From what I understand”, says Shmuel, “the [terrorists’] car was sitting just in front of the bus stop for the bus I was on, waiting to open fire.”

“When people started to get on and [others] off the bus, two armed men started to fire through the car windows towards the bus stop. I stood by the bus window and saw them hold rifles and shooting.”

“Things went crazy then on the bus. We’re talking about a bus that’s almost always filled with passengers, and in the morning it’s really packed. People laid on the floor and started to scream in panic.”

“There was a feeling that this is going to be a massacre. People were yelling ‘Shema Yisrael’ in just complete terror. It was a terrible experience. I thought to myself that the walls of the bus are so thin, the terrorists will try to come up to the bus itself [and open fire] within seconds.”

But then, Shmuel recalls, the shooting abruptly stopped.

“After that, the gunfire ended and we heard a big commotion outside. They said the terrorists ran off, and that someone had fired back at them. I couldn’t understand it, why would they run away? They’re terrorists who are ready to commit suicide, they’re supposed to return fire [when fired upon]. And they were two with rifles against one person with a pistol.”

“It was a miracle without a doubt. They could have easily killed dozens of people. There weren’t any cops in the area. We’re talking about a very quiet area that hasn’t had terror attacks.”

 Hezi Roth, a Hatzolah volunteer paramedic who arrived on the scene seconds after the attack says it was “a miracle” that no one was hurt and that the bus parked in such a way as to block the terrorists’ car and ruin their plans.

“The terrorists were driving very slowly. They targeted a bus stop with more than a hundred people. All of the sudden the 32 bus comes in and blocks their field of vision.”

“From speaking with the police on the scene, my understanding is that the terrorists decided to flee when their plans for the attack were foiled after they came under fire from the armed civilian.”