Police line (illustration)
Police line (illustration) iStock

A man wielding a machete on Thursday stormed a restaurant owned by an Israeli in Columbus, Ohio, CNN reported.

The man attacked several people before he was killed by police, authorities said.

The suspect was the only one killed. Nobody inside the Nazareth restaurant and deli said they knew him, according to police.

The owner of the restaurant was identified as Hany Baransi, an Arab Christian originally from Haifa.

Sources told NBC News on Friday that investigators are looking into whether the attacker carried out his attack the eatery in the mistaken belief that the owner was Jewish.

Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner told CNN after the attack that the suspect "immediately began swinging a machete at customers and employees inside. There was no rhyme or reason as to who he was going after as soon as he walked in, according to some of the witnesses."

The attacker, identified to NBC News by law enforcement sources as Mohamed Barry, had asked a worker at the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli where the owner was from, investigators said.

Four people were in the attack injured and transported to the hospital, according to CNN. One victim who was in critical condition underwent surgery and is now "stable," Weiner said.

The suspect was reportedly seen 30 to 45 minutes earlier entering the restaurant and speaking with an employee.

He left, came back at around 6:00 p.m. and then attacked a man and woman at a booth just inside the door, Weiner said.

Two men immediately ran out and called 911 while another engaged in a "physical altercation" with the suspect. Some patrons started throwing chairs.

An employee then "grabbed something from behind the register" and stopped the attack, according to Weiner.

Witnesses were able to give authorities enough information about the suspect's vehicle that another officer spotted it soon after, and a chase began, according to the CNN report.

Once authorities were able to get the suspect off the road, he tried to exit from the passenger side of the vehicle and eventually made it out of the vehicle and tried to attack the officers before being shot dead.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)