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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Margarita Lautin was shot and killed Monday when she was caught in the middle of an apparent assassination at a beachside restaurant in Bat Yam

A woman was shot and killed Monday when she was caught in the middle of an apparent assassination attempt at a beachside restaurant in Bat Yam. Margarita Lautin, 31, and a mother of two, succumbed to the gunshot wounds she sustained in her chest at Holon's Wolfson Hospital.
The victim was dining with a group of friends and family when a motorcyclist opened fire at them. The woman and her relatives were seated next to a group of people known to have criminal records, one of whom was apparently the intended target of the shooting. Police arrested four people suspected of involvement in the shooting, including the attacker and one of his apparent targets, who was also slightly wounded during the shooting. The incident occurred at around 6 P.M. Monday. Lautin sustained critical gunshot wounds to the chest and was evacuated to Wolfson Hospital after resuscitation efforts on the beach had failed. "Someone came along, shot her and destroyed a family ... whoever did that should pay, just like my wife paid," Lautin's husband Alexander said. The investigation was handed over to detectives from the Police's International Crime Squad, which handles investigations into the criminal figures involved in the incident, who apparently belong to the Abergil family crime organization. The suspects were arrested by members of the International Crime Squad who were in the area at the time of the shooting but police spokesmen denied they were there staking out the suspects who then opened fire. The initial investigation indicates that several known crime figures were sitting on a lawn close to the beach at about 6 P.M. when a group of suspects approached them and opened fire. Witnesses recounted that the criminals began chasing their attackers, who then fled. The suspects continued shooting as they ran, hitting Lautin, an innocent bystander. In the ensuing chaos, the suspects got away. However, crime squad detectives combing Bat Yam found them shortly thereafter
The Lautins had come to Bat Yam's Tobago Beach with bathing suits, towels, flotation devices and shovels and pails for five-year-old Sapir and two-year-old Guy.
At about 6 P.M., they asked a passerby to photograph them lying together in the sand. "Twenty minutes later, our family was destroyed," Alexander said in the hospital's lobby last night, gazing at the photos still in his camera. "Suddenly we heard gunshots and saw people running in every direction. It was pretty far away, we were at the end of the beach but people were running toward us. We didn't have time to run. My wife said 'I've been hit' and she fell down. I tried to help her but it was already too late," he said. "She fell right into my arms, next to the children who saw everything, including the failed attempts to resuscitate her." An eyewitness said that many shots had been fired. "I was in my hotel room playing guitar, and suddenly I heard shots. I went to the window and saw lots of people running from the beach," said Michael, a young Israeli staying in a nearby hotel. "The firing went on for several seconds," he said. An employee of a nearby banquet hall said, "It's crazy. It is scary to be here and to walk around with children. We heard a number of gunshots and then saw people fleeing in panic."



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