Thursday, September 15, 2016

New York: Akram Joudeh shot after attacking NYPD officers with a cleaver

(NBC) A man with a cleaver attacked NYPD officers outside Penn Station, striking at least one of them before he was shot by police, law enforcement sources say.

The officers were attacked near the busy Midtown commuter hub at the height of the evening rush hour.

Law enforcement officials said officers confronted the suspect as he was committing a non-violent crime, and that's when he pulled out his weapon.

At least one officer was hit in the face by the cleaver and was taken to Bellevue Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, sources said. Four other officers were taken to the hospital to be evaluated for trauma. Mayor de Blasio was seen arriving at Bellevue.

The suspect was also taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening gunshot wounds, law enforcement officials said.

Law enforcement officials identified the suspect as 32-year-old Akram Joudeh of Queens, who has 15 prior arrests, including one on Aug. 27 after he was found carrying knives near a synagogue.

The FBI is sending agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force to the scene as a precaution, an official said.

Police swarmed the area immediately after the attack and shooting, and West 32nd Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues was temporarily shut down to vehicular traffic.

Two years ago, a hatchet-wielding man ambushed a group of NYPD officers in Jamaica, Queens, gashing a rookie cop in the head with the 18-inch ax. Two other officers shot and killed the suspect, Zale Thompson, on the street.

Thompson was a self-radicalized "lone wolf terrorist," police officials said after the attack.

A motive in Thursday's attack wasn't clear.
Update: I was watching the police press conference, and some dumb broad, after having heard that one of the officers was very badly wounded, asked if it was really necessary for the police to fire 18 shots during the rush hour when people are around. I commend the police chief and the police commissioner for not cursing at her.