New York Daily News – by CAITLIN NOLAN , KERRY BURKE , ROCCO PARASCANDOLA, JOSEPH STEPANSKY , THOMAS TRACY
A man armed with a hatchet who attacked a group of rookie cops on a Queens street, critically injuring one, was shot dead by the officers on Thursday afternoon, and a female bystander was hit by an errant round.
Police are investigating the possibility that the attacker killed on a rainswept shopping corridor, identified by police sources as Zale Thompson, 32, had links to terrorism. A Zale Thompson on Facebook is pictured wearing a keffiyeh and had a recent terrorism-related conversation with one of his Facebook friends, according to a police source.
Thompson made no statements as he approached the four officers with hatchet in hand on Jamaica Ave. near 162nd St. in Jamaica at 2 p.m., officials said.
The officers, who all graduated from the academy in July, had huddled together to take a photo for a freelance photographer when Thompson ran up and started swinging, striking a 24-year-old cop in the right arm, said NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
He then brought the axe down on the second cop, cracking his skull, police sources said.
The two uninjured officers pulled their weapons and blasted away at Thompson, firing 19 rounds, the source said.
“It was a completely unprovoked attack,” said NYPD Chief Kim Royster, a department spokeswoman.
Thompson died at the scene. It was not immediately clear where on the body he was hit.
“I saw the cop on the ground,” said witness Kelli Reddick, 24. “He looked so bloody. His face was just covered in blood. He was laying on his side. He wasn’t moving at all.”
It’s not believed that the photographer who asked the cops to pull together was working with Thompson, Bratton said.
Cops also shot a 29-year-old woman, an innocent bystander, in the lower back a half block away outside a Conway department store, officials said.
The woman was listed in stable condition following surgery at Jamaica Hospital, said Bratton.
One of the wounded Rookie cops, who was struck in the back of the head with a hatchet was also wheeled into Jamaica Hospital. His face was bandaged and he was being comforted by another police officer holding his hand, witnesses said.
It wasn’t immediately clear if a terror group had inspired the suspect to attack the four cops, Bratton said.
“That type of question certainly comes to mind,” he said. “We really cannot say yes or no to that question. This is an ongoing investigation. There is nothing we know at this time where that would be the case.”
Yet an internal department alert warned officers to keep their eyes peeled for possible terror attacks in light of what happened.
“Due to recent attacks against law enforcement and military both here in NYC and in Ottawa, Canada, police officers on patrol should maintain a heightened level of awareness,” said the memo, which was sent to NYPD supervisors. “Please remind your personnel to remain vigilant at all times in order to prevent attacks and injuries to (officers).”
Investigators were getting search warrants for Thompson’s home and computer, to see who he’s been talking with on social media.
3 thoughts on “Hatchet-wielding man shot dead by NYPD cops in Queens; police eye possible terrorism motive”
Ho hum, another false flag. No blood – and what’s with the white outfits anyway? Again, tiresome story line, another convenient muslim patsy. Run the usual checks to expose the “victim-helping” website created prior to the attack.
Sigh. Is this the best our gov’t can do? It is really sub-par. One would think, given the high unemployment, that better fakers could be hired.
What? Terrorism? No . . . more like suicide by cop. Alot of people are hurting in this economy.
. . .
Clearly an act of ANTI-terrorism.