A man was shot and killed by police in Jamaica on Thursday afternoon after he struck a police officer in the head with a hatchet.
The officer, who is 25 years old, was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical but stable condition.
PoliceCommissioner Bill Bratton said the incident happened around 2 p.m. in the area of 162nd Street and Jamaica Avenue. Two officers from the 103rd Precinct were on foot patrol when they were approached by a freelance photographer who asked to take their picture.
Bratton said as the officers posed, the suspect appeared and “charged” at them, apparently unprovoked. The suspect hit a 24 year old officer in the right arm with an 18-inch metal hatchet, then turned and hit the other officer in the back of the head. The second officer fell to the sidewalk, and then two other officers in the area opened fire on the suspect, killing him.
Bratton said a 29-year-old woman who was in the area was hit in the back with a bullet. Bratton added the incident occurred in a very populated commercial area which was significantly less populated due to heavy rain. She was in stable condition and recovering from surgery on Thursday evening.
The photographer was working with investigators, and not believed to be involved.
The officer with the head injury was still in surgery during the briefing, and is described as being from a family of police officers.
Bratton said all four of the officers graduated from the academy in July.
Mayor Bill de Blasio described the officers as “four rookie cops starting off in their career when the unexpected happened,” and commended them for their quick response.
Bratton said his department is working to identify the man and his motives, and an initial investigation will detemine if the attack is terrorism-related.