NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police shot and killed a man in Jamaica, Queens Thursday after he allegedly hit an officer in the head with a hatchet.
A bystander was accidentally struck by police gunfire during the incident.
The incident occurred around 2 p.m. Thursday at Jamaica Avenue and 162nd Street in Queens, police said.
The suspect walked up to a group of uniformed officers, who were posing for a photo for a freelance photographer, and hit one with the hatchet without warning, authorities said.
“Nothing was said at the time of the assault. The suspect was described as having charged at the officers,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said at a news conference Thursday.
Officer Kenneth Healey was slashed in the head and taken to Jamaica Hospital Center. Authorities said he was in surgery and in critical condition as of Thursday night with a skull fracture.
Healey’s father is also a police officer and was by his son’s side at the hospital, CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported.
“The cop was bleeding, like, pretty horribly,” said witness Rudy Escamilla, who gave CBS 2 cellphone figures showing officers rushing to Officer Healey’s side.
Another officer at the scene fired several rounds hitting the suspect, who died at the scene, sources said.
Surveillance video from the incident released by police shows the hatchet-wielding suspect running past a person on the sidewalk and taking a swing.
A female bystander, who was accidentally struck by a police round, was taken to Jamaica Hospital Center, sources said. Authorities said she was about half a block down the street from the incident when she was injured.
CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported the 29-year-old woman was alert late Thursday. Her condition was said to be stable.
The second officer, Joseph Meeker, was also taken to the hospital for injuries to his arm, sources said; he was expected to be released late Thursday.