Gothamist – A hatchet-wielding man was shot dead and four NYPD officers, plus a bystander, are injured after police responded to an assault in Jamaica Queens. An NYPD spokesperson said the incident occurred at around 2:10 p.m. near the intersection of 162nd Street and Jamaica Avenue. One of the officers suffered a hatchet wound to the head, and was transported to North Shore Hospital in critical condition, while the three other officers were treated for minor injuries at Jamaica Hospital. A woman who was standing nearby was also shot in the lower back and transported to a local hospital. The man brandishing the hatchet was pronounced dead at the scene. The police spokesperson would not say whether the bystander was shot by the NYPD. Authorities are still trying to determine how the incident unfolded.
“The cops yelled ‘Drop it!’” said rattled eyewitness Larry Bethune, 44, of Hollis, Queens, recalling the moment the psycho pulled a small hatchet from his jacket.“And he lunged at one of them,” the witness remembered. “He raised his arm up high and brought it straight down on the cop’s head.
“The cop went down to the ground, face first. It was horrible. I’ve never seen anything like that on Jamaica Avenue,” he added. “The cop’s just lying there with blood pouring down his face. He didn’t move.”
The man slashed another officer’s arm before two officers shot the man dead. The Post adds that the woman who was shot by a stray police bullet is in “life-threatening condition.” At a press conference at Jamaica Hospital, Commissioner Bratton said that the department is still working on identifying the slain suspect, and that he said nothing before he “charged” at the officers. All four of the responding officers were rookies, and the officer hit in the head was conscious and speaking when he was admitted to the hospital, something Bratton called “a good sign.”
Some absolutely terrifying stuff yesterday in Queens and you can see from the aftermath that it was pretty much total chaos after the attack/shooting. They havent confirmed or denied that there were ties to terrorism as they’re still investigating but either way this dude was obviously just a full blown lunatic. It honestly surprises me that stuff like this doesnt happen more often. There’s just so many people and so many crazies and no matter how good your law enforcement is – both local and national – its almost impossible to stop a dude from just putting an axe in his backpack and attacking some people when they least expect it.
Just goes to show the kind of respect NYPD cops deserve from people on a daily basis. I mean I know I bust their balls a lot on this website. Shit, I was just doing it yesterday. Lord knows there’s plenty of times when they’re writing tickets or directing traffic or giving you a hard time like a bunch of hardos. But the reality is, in this city especially, theres honestly the constant threat of violence and they are out there every day stopping that from happening, unfortunately bearing the brunt of it themselves. Obviously in plenty of other cities and places there are cops that put it all on the line as well. But I just want to make sure the NYPD knows that I, for one, appreciate the fact that when they get up and go to work in the morning, they could have lunatics with axes targeting them in some sort of terrorist plot. Its bullshit of me and the rest of New York to wait until something like this happens to pay our respects but I guess better late than never. Get well soon to Officer Kenneth Healey and Officer Joseph Meeker.