Ukrainian nationals killed in Bnei Brak named as Victor Sorokopot, Dimitri Mitrik

Victor Sorokopot, 32, and Dimitri Mitrik, 24, were named as the two Ukrainian nationals who were killed in Tuesday’s shooting attack in Bnei Brak.

The two were killed as they sat outside a grocery store on the city’s Bialik Street when terrorist Diaa Hamarsheh, 26, opened fire.

“He was a really good person. We were married for almost six years,” Victor’s wife Kristina, who lived with him in Bnei Brak, told Channel 12 news. “We don’t have kids… I don’t know what to do because there are a lot of problems in Ukraine.”

The two men were foreign workers, employed in construction, who both lived in the city.

Vasily, Mitrik’s cousin, told Channel 12 he heard about Mitrik’s death from a friend who witnessed the attack.

Yesterday I also wanted to go to the store there. We are in this store all day,” he said.

“We could not believe such a thing would happen in Bnei Brak. A friend of ours was there and saw them being shot. He called and told us 10 minutes after the incident.”

A member of the Zaka rescue and recovery team cleans blood from the site where a terrorist opened fire in Bnei Brak, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Vasily said that Mitrik had been in Israel for three or four years.

“We might leave now for Belgium or Romania,” he added.

On Wednesday morning, friends of Sorokopot and Mitrik arrived at the site of the attack to mourn.

Avoiding a protest against Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that was taking place outside the grocery store, they told Haaretz they came to Israel with Sorokopot and Mitrik to seek a better life.

“We were neighbors in Ukraine. We’re like family,” one of them said, asking to remain anonymous. “We came here to earn money and build a house. The situation in Ukraine is difficult and many of our friends are trying to come as well,” he said, noting that they might reconsider staying in Israel after the attack.

Another friend, Julian, said Sorokopot and his wife were considering returning to Ukraine after the war.

“It’s dangerous here and it’s dangerous thereץ I don’t know where to go anymore,” he said.

“Yesterday I told Dimitri I wanted to get out of here and return to Ukraine,” another friend said. “He told me, ‘Don’t go back. It’s better here because it’s safer.’ He liked living in Israel, he felt safe here.”

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian Embassy in Israel issued a statement condemning the “heinous” terror attack and confirming Mitrik and Sorokopot were among the dead.

“With deep sorrow we confirm that two citizens of Ukraine were among the victims,” the embassy said in a Facebook post. “We express our condolences and sympathy to the families of the deceased. The upscale [sic] of violence and terrorism is unacceptable and it must be stopped.”

The other three victims were named as police officer Amir Khoury, 32, Ya’akov Shalom, 36, and Avishai Yehezkel, 30.

Shalom and Yehezkel were laid to rest in Bnei Brak earlier on Wednesday.

Three of the victims of the deadly attack in Bnei Brak on March 29, 2022 from left to right Amir Khoury, Avishai Yehezkel and Ya’akov Shalom (Courtesy)

Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of Rabbi Yehezkel, a yeshiva student who was taking his 2-year-old son for an evening walk in his stroller when he was shot.

He is survived by his wife, who is eight months pregnant, and his son.

According to reports, Yehezkel had taken the young child down to the street in his stroller in an attempt to get the boy to sleep.

A few hours later, crowds gathered for the funeral of Shalom, a father of four. Shalom was driving home when Hamarsheh stopped his car and opened fire on him from close range.

Shalom was the son of Rabbi Meir Shalom, a prominent leader of the Yemenite community in Bnei Brak who died last year of COVID.

Mourners at the funeral of Ya’akov Shalom who was killed in a terror attack in Bnei Brak, March 30, 2022 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The funeral for Khoury, the Arab Israeli police officer killed during an exchange of fire with the terrorist, is set to take place on Thursday in Nof Hagalil.

According to Channel 12 news, a Haredi delegation from Bnei Brak is expected to attend the funeral in a mark of respect and gratitude.

Khoury served on the Bnei Brak police station’s motorcyclist responders team and was one of the officers who caught up with the gunman and killed him, ending the deadly shooting spree.

Khoury was hit in the exchange of fire and later died after being rushed to Beilinson Medical Center, officials said.

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