Yesterday a man with a hatchet attacked two police officers in New York City, striking one in the head and the other in the arm. He was shot to death shortly after engaging the officers. The officer who was struck in the head suffered a skull fracture, but is in stable condition at a hospital. More from NBC New York:
The officers, all recent graduates of the Police Academy assigned to the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, were asked to pose for a picture by a freelance photographer at the intersection of 162nd Street and Jamaica Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. when the man attacked them from behind, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
The suspect "charged at the officers with a hatchet in his hand," Bratton said. "Unprovoked and not speaking a word, the male then swung at one of the officers with a hatchet, striking his right arm. After striking that officer, the suspect continuing swinging the hatchet, striking a second officer in the head."
The metal hatchet was about 18 inches long.
Law enforcement officials identified the suspect as 32-year-old Zale Thompson.
The attack came just one day after a Canadian soldier was shot to death while on guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and shortly after the FBI released a memo to law enforcement warning of attacks on police officers from ISIS sympathizers.
The memo was issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Joint Intelligence Bulletin and is titled, “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Its Supporters Encouraging Attacks Against Law Enforcement and Government Personnel.” It is labeled, “UNCLASSIFIED/FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY” and asserts that it may be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and should not be released tot he public, the media, or anyone else not authorized by the DHS.
The document alerts US law enforcement personnel, including FBI Special Agents, to be aware of their surroundings and to monitor their families’ use of social media to “avoid revealing FBI or law enforcement affiliation.”
Terror in this case is not being ruled out and reviews of Zale's social media pages show discussion and posts favorable to terror.
Islamic State Twitter accounts also appear to be taking credit for the attack.