An amateur guitarist is being hailed as a hero in Israel after he used his instrument to repel a Palestinian assailant on a stabbing spree Tuesday that killed an American tourist.
“I heard screams and then I saw the terrorist, I slammed my guitar on his head,” Yishai Montgomery, 26, told Israel’s Channel 2.
“I had just sat down to play my guitar near the ocean when I heard screams from down the road,” he said. “Immediately, I stood up and started to run after him with my guitar, I slammed it on his head. He was stunned and didn’t know what to do with himself.”
'Guitar Hero' who attacked terrorist last night back at scene of attack with free guitar he was given by music store pic.twitter.com/XigQaQ3JlX
— Ben Hartman (@Benhartman) March 9, 2016
“Then, I realized that I was the only person who knew that he was the terrorist,” Montgomery told Channel 2 as he sported a T-shirt of the band “Tool.”
“He started to run down the street. I left everything behind and shouted ‘terrorist,’ and started to run after him with a group of six to seven people,” he added.
Just about every Israeli newspaper spoke to Montgomery to hear more about his instinctive improvisation, using the acoustic guitar as a weapon.
“If I didn’t have my guitar in my hand he would have succeeded in stabbing me,” Montgomery told Israel Hayom.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that the assailant was shot and killed at the scene.
During the stabbing spree, a U.S. citizen was killed and a dozen others were wounded.
The American was identified as Taylor Force, a U.S. Army veteran and graduate student at Vanderbilt University who was from Lubbock, Texas. The Post noted that’s also the hometown of the guitarist’s father and grandparents.
After learning he had wrecked his guitar in a most unusual way, Israelis chipped in to buy him a new instrument. But a local music store beat them to it and gave Montgomery a new guitar in honor of his actions.
Israel has faced a wave of nearly daily Palestinian attacks since September. That continued on Wednesday when Israeli police said that two assailants shot at Israeli vehicles in Jerusalem, wounding an Israeli man seriously.
During that period, civilians have resorted to using all sorts of objects to defend themselves, including nunchucks, selfie-sticks and umbrellas.
Front page image: Shutterstock.