At 2PM yesterday, a man wielding a hatchet attacked four rookie cops yesterday in Queens and was shot dead. The group of recent academy graduates were huddled for a photo in front of a freelance photographer on Jamaica Avenue when Zale Thompson, 32, charged at them swinging a hatchet, striking one officer in the arm and another in the head in an unprovoked attack.
The two uninjured officers drew their weapons and fired 19 rounds, killing Thompson and striking an innocent female bystander half a block away. One of the officers is said to be in critical condition.
While no motive is certain the BBC says that he has made many statements online related to jihad:
The SITE monitoring group said he had posted statements on YouTube and Facebook that “display a hyper-racial focus in both religious and historical contexts, and ultimately hint at his extremist leanings”.
SITE, which monitors radical Islamist groups, said a post by him in September had described jihad as “a justifiable response to the oppression of the Zionists and the Crusaders.”
After last year’s machete attack on a soldier in London, the recent ambush of a military officer in Canada, and a string of ISIS beheading videos, the NYPD has instructed officers to be on high-alert.