NYPD officers injured in machete attack near Times Square New Year’s Eve event, officials say

Three New York City police officers were injured after being attacked with machetes near New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square, authorities said.

The incident happened just after 10 p.m. ET at West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue, just outside the high-security area where revelers are screened at checkpoints, officials said during a press conference early Sunday.

The suspect approached an officer and attempted to strike him over the head with the machete, Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. He then struck two officers in the head with the blade before being shot in the shoulder and apprehended by police, Sewell said.

The officers were hospitalized, one with a fractured skull and another with a bad cut, but were in stable condition, Sewell added. The suspect was also hospitalized, he said.

Mayor Eric Adams said at the press conference that he had spoken to one of the injured officers. “He understood that his role saved the lives of New Yorkers today,” Adams said.

Several law enforcement officials told NBC News they were investigating whether the suspect had ever posted what they called jihadi writings online and traveled to New York to target police on the evening of the New Year.

The investigation was in its early stages, but the suspect was known to law enforcement for his social media posts, officials said, adding he had no criminal record.

The authorities at press conference identified the suspect only as a 19-year-old male. Four senior law enforcement officials told NBC News the man had been identified as Trevor Bickford of Wells, Maine.

Neither the FBI nor the NYPD were looking for additional suspects, officials said.

The NYPD mounts a massive security operation every year during New Year’s Eve celebrations, with thousands of officers deployed in the area around Times Square.

Crowds are not allowed to access the blocks to see the performances and the Midnight Ball drop without being checked at checkpoints where officers use metal detector rods to detect weapons.

Bulky bags and coolers are banned from the area, while barriers are put in place to prevent vehicle attacks in the safe area.

Associated press and Alex Lo contributed.


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