In a bizarre turn of events New York City police officers were attacked by a man with a hatchet on Thursday. Though authorities have been on high alert over suspicions of terrorist attacks on them, these officers were far from prepared for what would happen to them. Though the motive is not yet known, two officers are still recovering from injuries, and others are looking for the reason why the man attacked them.
It was a normal day in Queens as a few officers came together to pose for a photo. According to witnesses, they were on foot patrol when a freelance photographer asked them if he could take a picture. Though the photographer is not expected to have been setting them up, an unusual event occurred while they were taking the photo as they were suddenly attacked by a man with a hatchet, from behind. The man charged at the officers, injuring two of them. One New York police officer was injured critically.
Though police officers of New York City are often aware that their day could change for the worse in an instant, putting them in danger, the police officers posing for a picture on Queens street were very surprised at the attack that they encountered. 32-year-old Zale Thompson, was the attacker, as police learned after the attack. As they were attacked the officers who were not struck took out their firearms and began shooting at Thompson, leaving him dead at the scene. The two officers who were hit were immediately taken to Jamaica Hospital where they were treated.
One New York police officer was hit in the arm, as he blocked the attack, and the other was hit in the head, as he fell to the ground. As the other police officers began shooting at the suspect one woman, who was a bystander, was accidentally hit and was also treated for injuries. After all were taken to the hospital the 25-year-old police officer who was hit in the head was taken into surgery, and once out he was still in critical condition.
Police obtained permission to search Thompson’s home, after learning his identity. According to police statements the man had just recently posted on social media that he had converted to Islam, as he posted angry words about the oppression in the area and the injustices done. Though there is nothing linking him to any terrorist affiliations, police believe that these posts may be why he attacked the police officers. They stated that a police officer in Canada was killed earlier that week by a man, and the crime had been ruled as terrorism, and another was run over in Canada, part of the reason why authorities were on high alert over terrorist attacks. They also stated that this man had clearly began taking the Islamic faith very seriously, as they could tell through his posts on Facebook.
The weapon that Thompson attacked the officers with was 18 inches long, and witnesses of the attack say that the man was crouching down on the street corner, as he pulled the hatchet out of a backpack and immediately “charged” towards the officers. The other attacks on officers, as previously mentioned, involved a gun and a car. Police are continuing to warn officers to be on alert for random attacks.
By Crystal Boulware