A gunman stormed into a bank in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva today, killing four people in a gunfight and taking a hostage before killing himself, the police said.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the shootings happened inside the bank, which was cordoned off with a large number of police officers.
Israeli TV footage showed several ambulances parked outside. Four other people were wounded, one of them seriously.
The police said they were investigating the incident, and backed off from initial claims that it had been a bungled bank robbery.
The man was identified as an Israeli in his 40s who lived in Beer Sheva. The bank specialized in mortgages, and Rosenfeld said police were exploring whether the man had experienced financial difficulties or had any other personal dispute with bank workers. He said robbery also remained a possible motive.