The Daily Grind Video
CLOSE

A suspect is dead after attacking four New York City police officers with a metal hatchet on Thursday, hitting two of them at a time and leaving one in critical condition.

The man, who was hiding behind a bus shelter, struck one officer in the arm and another in the head as they were posing for a picture. The two officers who weren’t hit shot and killed the man. A 29-year-old bystander was hit by one of the police bullets in the lower back and was taken to the hospital. The police officer who was struck remains in critical but stable condition.

The suspect, identified as Zale H. Thompson, was discharged from the Navy for misconduct and had a criminal record in California.

Authorities are looking to see if the unprovoked attack, in the New York borough of Queens, is tied to recent calls by radicals to attack military and police officers, law enforcement officials say.

Asked about a possible connection to terrorism, police Commissioner William Bratton said, “There is nothing we know as of this time that would indicate that were the case. I think certainly the heightened concern is relative to that type of assault based on what just happened in Canada.”

Bratton was referring to the terrifying attack on the Canadian Parliament on Wednesday that left one soldier dead and two others wounded. The Ottawa gunman had “connections” to jihadists in Canada who shared a radical Islamist ideology, according to CNN.

Following Thursday’s attack, the NYPD is reportedly on alert to “maintain a heightened level of awareness against random attacks,” according to law enforcement officials.

Police are still investigating a motive in the attack.

SOURCE: CNN | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.