(New York) A man attacked three police officers with a machete during New Year’s Eve festivities near Times Square, New York. The suspect had time to hit two officers in the head before being shot in the shoulder.
The attack took place shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday evening, a few blocks from the heavily policed perimeter of Times Square, where everyone must submit to a search to gain entry.
Two of the police officers involved had to be hospitalized: one due to a fractured skull and the other for a severe cut. However, their life is not in danger.
Authorities have not released the identity of the suspect, but said he is a 19-year-old man. His life is not in danger either.
There was some excitement near the scene of the attack when the shot fired at the suspect was heard, but the celebrations in Times Square continued as if nothing had happened.
An investigation has been opened to shed light on this attack as well as to understand the suspect’s motivations. The police, however, clarified that there was no longer any danger to the public.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference that he was able to speak with one of the affected officers while the latter was in the hospital receiving treatment for his injuries.
“He was in a good state of mind, according to the mayor. He realized he saved the lives of some New Yorkers tonight. »
The suspect who was arrested would have acted alone, according to the deputy director of the FBI office in New York, Michael Driscoll.
The New York police organize a major operation every year to ensure the safety of the crowds that gather in Times Square to welcome the new year. Thousands of officers are deployed in the area, including many recruits.
One of the injured officers had graduated from the police academy as recently as Friday, Mayor Adams said.
All of Times Square is accessible only through checkpoints where officers use metal detectors to spot weapons. Large bags and coolers are prohibited. Barriers are also installed to prevent vehicle attacks.
However, the security perimeter cannot expand forever. The attack took place on the 8e avenue, which is often crowded with a dense crowd trying to get to one of the entrances to the official site.