NEW YORK — A man charged at four New York police officers Thursday afternoon, metal hatchet in hand, hitting one officer in the right arm and another in the head, the city’s police commissioner said.
The two officers who weren’t struck shot and killed the suspect, who has not been identified by name and is believed to be about 32 years old, according to police Commissioner Bill Bratton
The police officer who was struck in the head remains in critical but stable condition.
Authorities are looking to see if the unprovoked attack, in the New York borough of Queens, is tied to recent calls by radicals to attack military and police officers, law enforcement officials say.
Asked about a possible connection to terrorism, Bratton said, “There is nothing we know as of this time that would indicate that were the case. I think certainly the heightened concern is relative to that type of assault based on what just happened in Canada.”
On Wednesday, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed as he stood guard at Canada’s National War Memorial before shots erupted in the halls of the country’s Parliament minutes later.
The Ottawa gunman had “connections” to jihadists in Canada who shared a radical Islamist ideology, including at least one who went overseas to fight in Syria, multiple U.S. sources told CNN on Thursday.
In the New York attack, the officers were posing for a photo when the man carrying a 18.5-inch-long hatchet charged them, Bratton said.
The 25-year-old officer who was struck in head was in critical but stable condition at New York hospital. The other officer, who is 24, was struck in the arm and was expected to be released soon.
A 29-year-old bystander who was struck by a bullet in the lower back was also taken to a hospital. Her condition was not known.