Documents and testimony revealed by Channel 10 on Sunday night throw light on the personality of Nashat Melhem, the Arab Israeli terrorist from Wadi Ara who gunned down two Israelis on Friday at a pub in Tel Aviv and wounded several others before fleeing.
A police officer from the north, who guarded Melhem following his arrest in 2007, told the news channel that he and his friends were not surprised to discover that Melhem was the terrorist behind the horrific shooting.
"He was a really problematic prisoner," said the officer. "He would misbehave and go crazy. He wasn't mentally ill as they are describing, but rather was just a bad person."
"When I discovered that it was him, I couldn't believe that they released him."
In July 2007, Melhem was convicted of attempting to steal a soldier's gun at Karkur Junction to the east of Hadera. His father, a volunteer in the police who has a permit to carry a weapon, asked that he be released and in exchange offered to supervise him.
Apparently the authorities saw nothing wrong with the proposal, and let Melhem go despite his attempt to steal a gun and potentially conduct a lethal shooting spree, and despite his misconduct in prison.
The director of the addiction treatment center, who refused to take in Melhem in 2007 following a professional diagnosis, wrote about what he found after talking with the Arab Israeli.
"After a conversation with him we got the impression that he needs continued treatment and psychiatric surveillance due to strange behavior," wrote the director. "He spoke about having a superpower and the ability to prophesy things. The entire world is negative and only he can fix it. He also was easily annoyed."
The manhunt continues after Melhem, with concerns high that he may conduct another attack or else cause damage if security forces try to capture him. An hour after the shooting, the body of taxi driver Amin Shaban was found shot dead in the north of the city, and investigators suspect that Melhem murdered him as well.
Residents revealed Melhem worked as a delivery boy at a vegetable store in Ramat Aviv in the north of Tel Aviv until 2008, meaning he is very familiar with the lay of the land. The residents who knew him also added that he is sane, despite claims by family members to the contrary.