Authorities have identified the man who was shot by NYPD in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday during rush hour.
Authorities were called to 31st Street and Broadway before 5 p.m. with reports of a man trying to remove a boot from his car. The man, later identified as32-year-old Akram Joudeah of Queens, pulled an 11-inch meat cleaver from his waistband, NYPD officials said, and started to run, chasing a traffic agent on 32nd Street toward 7th Avenue.
During the foot chase, an officer used a Taser on the suspect, but it had no effect. Police said that the suspect "mounted the front grill of the marked police car that was responding to the call."
An off-duty detective in civilian clothes on his way home tried to intervene when the suspect wacked him with the cleaver, NYPD said.
The off-duty officer suffered a 6-inch gash on his face from his temple to his jaw.
“He was running down the street waving it,” an MTA worker toldNew York Daily News. “The cops were chasing him.”
That's when police started shooting, officials said.
Soon after, Twitter users in the area began to tweet that there were shots fired.
“He ran down the sidewalk past me and I moved to the other side of the truck,” Richard Dewaldtold New York Daily News. “I was standing next to where the cops were standing with their guns.
The uniformed officers fired 18 times, hitting the man several times. "They shot until the threat was stopped," NYPD Chief of Department James P. O'Neill said at a press conference.
"I want to commend them for their performance," NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. "We have a character running down the street, waving a cleaver. Despite that, the officers approached him, started to take him into custody during which one of them received significant injuries to his face. At which time, based on preliminary investigation, officers fired sufficient rounds to stop the attack. I want to commend them for their bravery and performance of duty."
The off-duty detective and the suspect were taken to Bellevue Hospital. As of Thursday evening, the officer is in serious condition and the suspect, whom police believe was living out of his car, is in critical condition.
Mayor Bill de Blasio's officetweetedthe mayor visited the injured officers and they are "all in good spirits, considering."
Two other officers sustained non-life threatening injuries during the ordeal.
Police shut down 32nd Street between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue,Patch reportedat the time, and some office buildings were put on lockdown.
#NYPD says they have obtained lots of video of man waving the meat cleaver around. Cops say they tried to subdue him, when man cut cop.— Dean Meminger (@DeanMeminger) September 15, 2016
We will update reporters from West 32nd Street and 6th Avenue soon pic.twitter.com/gI0wUh3yYu— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) September 15, 2016
Officers in midtown Manhattan encountered a man with meat cleaver. Officers discharged several rounds striking the suspect.— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) September 15, 2016
There has been a police involved shooting in Midtown Manhattan at W 32nd & Broadway. DCPI is on the way to the scene.— J. Peter Donald (@JPeterDonald) September 15, 2016
Multiple gun shots by Manhattan Mall Penn Station. Walking by and seeing people running down the block. Lots of police activity. Avoid area— Bern (@Bdette28) September 15, 2016
Manhattan: East 32 St & Broadway. U/D; Police officer assaulted with a meat cleaver. Perp was shot. Active crime scene.— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) September 15, 2016
Shots fired; Police response on 32nd bet 6th and 7th near Penn station pic.twitter.com/luEwUsHxiA— Joseph Teichman (@mindblurb) September 15, 2016
Police in the air over 32nd street. pic.twitter.com/RxjJEFqWXE— Gronti (@Gronti) September 15, 2016
Again...— Pamela Moore (@Pamela_Moore13) September 15, 2016
Policeman attacked with 'meat cleaver' before suspect 'shot' near Penn Station in New York pic.twitter.com/k50H1CtWpJ
Manhattan: East 32 St & Broadway. U/D; 2 NYPD cops assaulted with a meat cleaver both NLTD. Perp was shot & critically wounded— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) September 15, 2016