Speed Reads


NYPD cops fatally shoot ax-wielding attacker

On Thursday afternoon, a man wielding a hatchet attacked four rookie New York Police Department officers posing for a photo on a busy commercial street in Queens. The attacker struck on officer in the arm and another in the head before the other two cops opened fire, killing the man and accidentally wounding a 29-year-old woman half a block away, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said Thursday evening.

The man had ID, and investigators are still trying to determine if it is authentic; social media postings of the man in the ID reportedly suggests sympathies for Islamist extremists, CNN reports, but Bratton said there is no indication yet that the attack was terrorism-related. Still, on Thursday night the NYPD warned all uniformed officers to stay "vigilant at all times in order to prevent attacks and injuries."

The officer struck in the head, 25-year-old Kenneth Healey, is in critical but stable condition. Officer Joseph Meeker, 24, was treated and released from the hospital. The unidentified bystander struck with a stray bullet in the lower back was listed in critical condition and undergoing surgery Thursday night. --Peter Weber