Multiple police officers working New Year’s Eve in Times Square were wounded by a machete-wielding man who struck the officers in the head in what law enforcement is investigating as a possible targeted attack, according to authorities.
Federal and local authorities are investigating the background of 19-year-old Trevor Bickford, who allegedly attacked a group of NYPD officers outside a security screening zone in Times Square just after 10 p.m. Saturday, according to law enforcement officials.
According to reports, Bickford of Wells, Maine, allegedly approached the officers on Manhattan’s 8th Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets armed with a large knife he used to swing at several officers, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at an overnight press conference.
Commissioner Sewell said that the individual dealt two of the officers blows to the head, giving an 8-year veteran a head laceration and a recent police academy graduate a skull fracture. The wounded NYPD officers were taken to Bellevue Hospital and are expected to survive.
One officer fired upon the suspect, striking him in the shoulder. Officials said the attacker’s injuries are also non-life-threatening.
A preliminary review shows the man has no previous arrests but was known to federal and local law enforcement because of past online postings.
Federal and local law enforcement officials said the man previously posted jihadist writings online and traveled to New York City to target police.
“We believe this was a sole individual at this time, there’s nothing to suggest otherwise,” said Mike Driscoll, assistant director in charge of the New York FBI Field Office.
The knife attack and gunfire startled a large line of crowds waiting to join the NYE celebrations. A local pizza shop employee said panicked revelers fled amid the chaos. Police officials have closed down the immediate area for their investigation.