Suspect armed with a machete and attacked 3 officers is shot by police near Times Square
Police working New Year's Eve detail in Times Square were wounded by a machete-wielding man who struck multiple officers in the head in what law enforcement are investigating as a possible targeted attack.
Federal and local authorities are digging into the background of 19-year-old Trevor Bickford, who allegedly attacked a group of NYPD officers outside a security screening zone in Times Square just after 10 p.m. Saturday, multiple law enforcement sources said.
Bickford, of Wells, Maine, allegedly approached the officers on Manhattan's 8th Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets armed with a large knife he used to swing at three different officers, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at an overnight press conference.
Sewell said the man dealt two of the officers blows to the head, giving an 8-year veteran a head laceration and a recent police academy graduate a skull fracture. All three NYPD members were taken to Bellevue Hospital and were expected to survive.
Police provide a photo of a machete allegedly belonging to the 19-year-old suspect.
At least one officer fired upon the suspect, striking him in the shoulder. Police sources said the alleged attacker's injuries are also non-life-threatening. A preliminary review shows the man has no previous arrests, but he was known to federal and local law enforcement because of previous online postings, the sources added.
Law enforcement officials said they are looking into whether the man who allegedly attacked the officers had previously posted what they called jihadist writings online and traveled to New York City to target police.
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"We believe this was a sole individual at this time, there's nothing to suggest otherwise," said Mike Driscoll, assistant director in charge of the New York FBI Field Office. The FBI's Joint Terrorism task Force is also investigating.
The knife attack and gunfire startled a long line of crowds waiting to join the NYE celebrations. A local pizza shop employee said panicked revelers fled amid the chaos.
Police have closed down the immediate area for their investigation. The nearby New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square was not impacted.