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.
[UPDATE]The Post has obtained video from the scene.
Police were responding to a dispute between the man and a woman, the Post reports
“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."
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 23, 2014