Crown Heights after the stabbing
Crown Heights after the stabbingCourtesy of Haredim 10

Arutz Sheva got to speak with an eye-witness from Tuesday’s stabbing at the Chabad-Lubavitch building in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in which Calvin Peters (49) stabbed Levi Rosenblat (22) in the head and threatened others with a knife before being shot by police.

While NYPD assessed that the attack was not terror-related and noted that Peters has a history of mental illness and arrests, the testimony of Chabad hassid Yossi Tanis reveals that at the time of the stabbing Peters shouted "I'm killing a Jew, I'm killing a Jew!"

Tanis told Arutz Sheva that he and others were sitting at the 770 Chabad Lubavitch headquarters at 1:30 a.m. studying Tanya, the seminal theological-philosophical work of the founder of Chabad hassidism (see weekly Tanya lectures on Arutz Sheva here.).

"At that time a black man came in with a knife in his hand, he crossed the study hall and came to Levi and stabbed him above the ear, and another stab under the shoulder," recalled Tanis.

Another person studying at the center then ran to the emergency phone at which Peters pursued him, but he succeeded in escaping the knife-wielding assailant, reports Tanis. 

The stabber then returned to the center and found another victim, shouting "I'm killing a Jew, I'm killing a Jew!" However, the man also succeeded in running away before he could be harmed.

Several students then tried to block Peters and stop him while others called the police, with a patrol car arriving at the center.

"An officer came in, and with his gun drawn he told the stabber to put down the knife," recalled Tanis, describing the tense standoff seen in video from the incident.

After Peters put down the knife, the officer holstered his weapon and went to handcuff him, at which Peters shouted "you're going to handcuff me" and grabbed the knife again, jumping at the officer who pulled his weapon again and shouted to put down the knife, reports Tanis.

At that point two additional officers arrived, and when Peters refused to put down the weapon and began approaching them they shot him, inflicting wounds he later died from.

Speaking about the condition of Rosenblat, Tanis noted that he is recuperating after suffering a fracture to his skull from the knife blow. His wounds are now classified as serious to moderate.

When the attack occurred, Tanis said that for him and likely for many others at the Chabad center, he realized "that what's happening in the Holy Land isn't just there, it reaches every place, and also reaches places that are supposed to be quiet."

Tanis said the talk of giving away land and peace deals "can only give legitimacy to the attacks."

He added that the difficult times of terror attacks and international pressure have created a dark time, but said this period is prophesied in Jewish texts as coming before the final redemption, stressing the need to think positively.