Arrow-right Camera
News >  Nation/World

U.S. inmate in Israel killed after shooting guards

JERUSALEM – A U.S.-born inmate in an Israeli prison shot and wounded three guards Sunday before being killed by a SWAT team that responded to the attack.

Israeli media identified the inmate as Samuel Sheinbein, convicted of killing 19-year-old Alfredo Enrique Tello Jr. in Maryland in September 1997. Sheinbein was 17 at the time of the killing.

According to media reports, Sheinbein made a bathroom stop while being transferred from one cell to another in the maximum-security Rimonim prison in central Israel. He reportedly pulled out a handgun and shot three prison guards escorting him, seriously wounding one of them.

A SWAT team was called to the site to negotiate with Sheinbein, who was holed up in the bathroom with no hostages but still armed. An hour into the standoff he fired at special forces taking up positions around the cell, according to the reports. Sheinbein was mortally wounded when they fired back.

Prison authorities will investigate the incident, including how the inmate got a weapon. One official, Eli Gabizon, told media that the handgun the prisoner fired was not grabbed from one of the guards.

Sheinbein fled the U.S. after the 1997 slaying for Israel, where he was eligible for nationality due to his father’s Israeli citizenship. Israel fought high-level pressure from American authorities, including from the State Department, to extradite Sheinbein. He was ultimately tried and convicted for the murder in Israel, and sentenced to 24 years in prison.