New York police shoot hammer-wielding attacker
NEW YORK — A man wanted for allegedly attacking people with a hammer on the streets of New York City was shot and wounded by police Wednesday after he swung a hammer at a female officer, authorities said.
The unidentified suspect, who allegedly assaulted at least four people with a hammer on Monday, was shot two times on a bustling midtown Manhattan street, NYPD Chief of Manhattan Detectives William Aubry told reporters.
Aubry said two police officers spotted the suspected hammer attacker near Penn Station Wednesday morning and when they approached him, the man turned around abruptly and began to swing the claw end of a metal hammer. The female officer backtracked and fell to the ground as her partner fired four times. The suspect was struck twice.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said the shooting by the officer — which was captured on police surveillance cameras — “quite possibly saved his partner’s life.”
The suspect was in critical but stable condition at a local hospital, police said.
The female officer suffered an abrasion that may have been caused by the hammer or by falling while fleeing her attacker, officials said.
The hammer-wielding suspect was wanted in connection with at least four assaults near Union Square Park in Manhattan on Monday, police said.
The first victim was a 28-year-old woman who was sitting on a park bench in the park when a man removed a hammer from a bag and struck her in the head, a police statement said. She was taken to a hospital in stable condition.
About 10 minutes later, a 33-year-old woman walking a few blocks from the park suffered a scalp injury after being hit in the back of the head with a hammer, authorities said. She was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital in stable condition.
There were at least two other attacks, police said.