A MAN stabbed an Israeli student in the head inside a Brooklyn synagogue before being shot and killed by police after he refused to drop the knife.
The man stormed into the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic world headquarters in Crown Heights at about 1.40am yesterday and attacked Levi Rosenblat, who was studying in the synagogue, spokesman Motti Seligson said.
He said there were other people inside at the time but no one else was hurt.
The attacker was heard saying repeatedly "Kill the Jews", said Rabbi Chaim Landa, another spokesman for Chabad-Lubavitch
A witness flagged down a patrol officer, who confronted the 49-year-old man and told him to put the knife down.
He initially put it down, but picked it up again, police said.
More officers responded and repeatedly ordered the man to drop the knife.
He refused and, with the weapon in his hand, charged at one of the officers, who fired once, hitting him in the torso, police said.
The man was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
He was not immediately identified, but police said he was from New York City and had a criminal history. The 22-year-old Rosenblat was in a stable condition, officials said.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind condemned the attack.
"I'm told that the attacker came earlier to the synagogue that evening too. He was stalking the scene. Thank God he didn't inflict more harm nor do more damage to more people," Hikind said in an email statement.
He added that while a motive for the attack was not yet known, greater security was needed for Jewish institutions.
A nine-inch knife, with a 4.5-inch blade was recovered at the scene, police said.
"We commend the heroic efforts of the individuals who were present and took immediate action in this situation," said Landa.
"If not for their intervention the outcome could have been, God forbid, far worse."