Four NYPD officers were attacked Thursday afternoon in Queens by a man with a metal hatchet, with one officer wounded in the arm and another in the head. The latter officer is now in critical condition, while the suspect is dead after being shot by police. The hatchet-wielder, Zale H. Thompson (who is believed to have been about 32 years old), reportedly had a criminal record in California and was discharged form the Navy for misconduct. He said nothing as he approached, hatchet in hand, the four officers taking a photo. Authorities are investigating whether the unprovoked attack is tied to recent calls by radicals to attack military or police officers. “There is nothing we know as of this time that would indicate that were the case,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “I think certainly the heightened concern is relative to that type of assault based on what just happened in Canada.” Thompson first hit a 24-year-old cop in the right arm, then he brought the axe down on a second cop, cracking his skull. The remaining two officers then fired 19 rounds to take him out.
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