New evidence in the case of an off-duty Israeli police officer who was arrested after an Ethiopian teenager was shot and killed last week appears to strengthen the officer’s case, backing up his claim that he did not open fire at the teen.
A report based on a ballistics examination has confirmed that the bullet which killed 19-year-old Solomon Tekah last Sunday evening was fired at the ground, and struck Tekah only after it ricocheted off the ground.
The report confirms a key part of the officer’s story, and likely reduces the odds he will be charged with manslaughter.
The officer was arrested, questioned, and placed under house arrest last week after the shooting incident which killed Tekah.
According to the officer, who was not on duty at the time of the incident, he had been walking with his wife and children in the Kiryat Haim neighborhood of Haifa Sunday evening when he spotted several young men assaulting a 13-year-old boy.
When he attempted to break up the fight, the youths, who were apparently drunk, began throwing stones at the officer and his family.
Feeling that his life and the safety of his family was in jeopardy, the officer claims, he fired a warning shot at the ground, but the shot ricocheted off the ground and struck Tekah.
Tekah's family, however, had disputed the officer’s claims, calling Tekah’s death an act of murder.