He came in looking to kill, hacking at innocent people with a machete as they sat unsuspectingly at their dinner tables last night.
The seemingly random storming of a central Ohio restaurant left four people seriously wounded. Now, the suspect is being investigated for possible terror connections.
The brutal attack happened last evening at Nazareth Restaurant and Deli, a Mediterranean restaurant in Columbus named for the birthplace of Jesus by its Christian owner, who is also from Israel.
According to a local news source, the suspect (who has not yet been named) may have been on a U.S. terror watch list, and the FBI is reportedly assisting with the investigation.
Police said the man walked into the restaurant, had a conversation with an employee and then left. According to reports, he may have been confirming that the owner was Israeli. He returned about a half hour later. That’s when police said he approached a man and a woman who were sitting just inside the door at a booth and started the attack.
Police said employees and patrons desperately fought the man to stop the brutal attack.
“Some of the patrons there started throwing chairs at him just trying to get him out of there,” Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner said.
The man eventually fled the scene in a white car and led police on a short chase. Officers forced the man off the road a few miles away and when he got out of his car police said they tried unsuccessfully to use a stun gun on him.
Weiner said, “At that point he had a machete and another knife in his hand and he lunged across the hood at the officers.”
That’s when police said an officer shot and killed the man.
The victims were taken to an area hospital and are expected to recover.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.