*A man said to be fed up with the way police are treating African Americans went up to a group of police officers in Jamaica, Queens and struck two of them with a hatchet.
One officer was struck in the arm, and the other in the head.
The other officers opened fire, killing the man instantly. They also struck a female bystander accidentally.
Witnesses described the chaotic and horrific scene to CBS news media – telling them that the man pulled a hatchet from a backpack and as one officer tried to speak with him, he attacked.
NBC New York reports that police commissioner William Bratton said it is unclear what provoked the man; but law enforcement agencies have been on high alert due to terrorist-linked attacks on uniformed soldiers in Canada on Wednesday and another on Monday.
The incident apparently began at approximately 2 p.m. last Thursday. A freelance photographer asked a group of cops if he could snap a picture (the officers were said to be new academy graduates). This is when the hatchet-man appeared from behind, “unprovoked and not speaking a word,” according to Bratton.
The attacker then struck one officer in the arm and the other in the head before he was killed.
Though a tentative ID for the man has been given as Zale Thompson, a 32-year-old man with a Facebook page containing images of what appears to be a Muslim warrior and prayers, Bratton says authorities are still working to find out exactly who the guy is as authorities have found no links to extremist literature or jihadi groups at this time.
A review of some of the suspect’s social media postings and interviews with people who know him paint a picture of a disturbed loner who was angry about what he felt was the unfair treatment or oppression of African Americans, two law enforcement officials told NBC News.
The officer with the head injury is said to be in critical condition; and the other officer – who was hit in the arm, was treated and released that same evening; as was the woman, who was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
See the video news report directly below and read more at MSNBC.