I grew up in a military family and was educated in a police academy in Russia. When I was 17 my family immigrated to Israel, which did not turn out well. I met my then wife in Russia and she came here with me.
Here, I joined the military.
When I joined, I was examined by a psychiatrist. Since I didn’t speak good Hebrew at the time the examination was conducted with a translator. Later I was discharged from the military on grounds of mental health, with no one following up on my mental state.
My brother went through the same process, being diagnosed and released from the army for distinct reasons of mental health. Despite this, he was employed as a security guard and carried a weapon for four or five years, even after his employers learned what I had done: I shot my former wife.
My mental state after our divorce was bad. I felt that I was losing the game of manhood. The break-up of my marriage felt like a public defeat, visible to all, including my family. This was the case even though I had struggled during our marriage and agreed to the divorce. But being a man meant being violent.
The lethal incident took place a few weeks after I completed my training as a security guard and received a gun. I arrived at my ex-wife’s apartment and created the situation. I lied to my ex that I had heart disease but she, who specialized in biology, didn’t believe me and a conflict ensued at the end of which I drew the gun and shot.
A couple of friends of ours were there, they were probably called in to calm things down, and at some point they left the apartment. I got angry and shot towards the closed door with the result that I killed my good friend with 9 shots. He died immediately. A ricocheting bullet hit my ex in the chest. Once I understood what I had done I pointed the gun at my cheek at a 90 degree angle and shot myself in a failed suicide attempt.
On the day of the incident, a few hours before it occurred, I had quit my job claiming medical problems as my excuse. Despite my resignation and the known conflict with my ex, the gun was left in my possession. Previously, my direct supervisor, who knew of my personal issues, had turned to me and said “I know you’re not one of those men who shoot a woman and then kill themselves”!
Everybody knew the incident was coming. The writing was on the wall and I was in distress. I guess they didn’t want to endanger my employment and livelihood. At the security company where I was employed they knew I was going through a divorce and although the law was to leave the weapon in a safe at the workplace, the company directed us to take the weapons home and hide them (this after an error at the safe when a security guard left with two weapons, one of which he had forgotten in his backpack). They never checked whether we had safes at home and I didn’t have one.
Before the incident I worked at several security companies carrying a gun and never underwent a mental examination. Other companies did conduct such examinations. The irony is that I was determined to be healthy! I passed the examination I took successfully because the disease I suffer from is gender dysphoria, which is not a mental illness but an internal conflict between sex and gender identities.
Before the incident, in around 2005, I worked as a security guard in Israel and witnessed many cases where security guards were armed even when they spoke no Hebrew beyond, “Are you carrying a weapon?”; Or arrived drunk at work; Or drew a gun when a driver failed to pop open the trunk; Or had physical disabilities and lacked the appropriate physical fitness; Or passed the training sessions at the shooting range when they were unable to hit the mark and so forth.
Basically, what allowed the incident to take place was the accessibility of the gun. It was easier for me to shut the door and shoot through the door while turning my head so as not to see. I believe I would have never killed with a kitchen knife, for example. I’m afraid of blood. Six months before I had had a major argument with my ex and I didn’t hurt her. At the time, I wasn’t armed.
Today I know – the psychiatrists have told me – that I had serious mental problems in my complex relationship with my parents, and developed a guilt complex. In addition, violent people are manipulative and even if they undergo a social or psychiatric examination they can pass it, just as I passed the psychiatric examination at the security company. An in-depth examination would have revealed the mental issues I suffered from.
The murder was my test of manhood, of what everybody wanted me to be!