NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect was shot multiple times after an off-duty NYPD detective was attacked with a meat cleaver in Midtown on Thursday afternoon and it all stemmed over a booted car.
NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill said two uniformed officers responded to a call to a possible crime in progress at 31st Street and Broadway around 5 p.m. When the officers arrived, they found the suspect — identified as 32-year-old Akram Joudeh of Queens — trying to remove the boot from his car, officials said.
Police said the man pulled out an 11-inch meat cleaver and fled the scene.
According to O’Neill, officers pursued the suspect. Several other officers joined in the foot pursuit as Joudeh ran toward 32nd Street and Seventh Avenue.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said an off-duty police officer who was on his way home from court to Penn Station joined the pursuit and suffered a “significant injury to his face” after getting attacked with a meat cleaver.
Police tried to corral the suspect, and even used a Taser that had no effect on him. When the off-duty detective intervened and tried to grab him, he was struck in the head with the weapon.
O’Neill said the detective suffered a six-inch gash from his temple to his jaw and was in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital Center.
Officers then fired 18 shots at the suspect. O’Neill said Joudeh was in critical, but stable, condition late Thursday. O’Neill added that they believe Joudeh was living in his car.
CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported Joudeh has prior arrests.
Bratton defended his officers firing nearly 20 shots.
“The officers fired sufficient rounds to stop the attacks on the officers and I want to commend them for their bravery and performance and duty,” Bratton said.
Two other officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the attack.
Witness Jonathan Scheier said police told him to “get down” as they were chasing the suspect.
“I looked ahead of me and saw an individual with a very large meat cleaver brandishing by his heart. Officers directed to drop the weapon several times,” Schneier said. “Next thing you know, about six to eight officer from behind me were screaming, ‘Get down, get down, put the weapon down.'”
Tourists are being told to stay off the sidewalk and everyone is being told to stay away from the scene.
CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported Mayor Bill de Blasio arrived at Bellevue around 7 p.m. to visit the injured officers. Bratton and other NYPD officials also met with the injured officers.