New York City police officers shot and killed a man on Thursday after he attacked the officers with an axe. The attacker, who has been identified as Zale Thompson, charged at the officers while they posed for a photo on the street around 2 p.m. Thompson struck one officer in the arm and another in the head, critically wounding the officer. The two other officers fired on Thompson.
Here’s more on the scene of the attack from the New York Times:
The burst of violence occurred on the sidewalk in front of a local department store where the four uniformed officers were standing on a regularly assigned foot patrol. A passer-by asked to photograph the officers, Mr. Bratton said, and they obliged. As they did so, standing together, a man in a hooded green rain jacket approached quickly from down the block, pulled a hatchet from his clothes, raised it over his head and, appearing to say nothing, brought it down on the officers with two hands, video released by the police showed. The man first hit one officer in the arm and, continuing to swing, hit another in the head, Mr. Bratton said. A witness to the attack said that blow appeared to be particularly severe. “His head was split open from here to here,” said the witness, Mick Jones, 52, tracing a finger from his forehead to the back of his head. “His hat probably saved his life.” The two other officers drew their weapons and fired multiple times at the man, killing him, Mr. Bratton said.
“At this point, no known motive for this attack has been established,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a press conference. Initially there were reports that questioned whether the attack was terrorism-related, but officials appear convinced there is no connection to any radical Islamist groups, CNN reports.