Three New York City police officers were injured during New Year’s Eve celebrations Saturday night in an attack that is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism.
Just before 10 p.m. Saturday, three officers were allegedly attacked near Times Square by 19-year old Trevor Bickford from Maine who investigators believe may have ties to Islamic extremism based on the suspect’s recent online activity, the New York Post reported.
The “unprovoked” attack began when Bickford allegedly approached one police officer and attempted to strike him “over the head” with a machete, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell told reporters at a press conference. The attack continued against two other officers who were also allegedly struck by a machete, Sewell stated.
The suspect was then shot in the shoulder by another police officer and taken into custody, according to the New York Post.
This is the weapon that was recovered at the scene. https://t.co/Waaux2hUTt pic.twitter.com/EijU7QUgkQ
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 1, 2023
One of the injured officers, an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, suffered a laceration to the head. Another injured officer had just graduated from the police academy on Friday and was given a patrol detail in Times Square as his first assignment. He was also struck in the head, resulting in a large laceration as well as a skull fracture, ABC News reported.(RELATED: Woman Found Decapitated Inside Philadelphia Home, Police Say)
“We are really pleased by the response and how our officers handled this situation,” Mayor Eric Adams said per ABC News. “All three of the officers are in stable conditions and there are no critical threats to New Yorkers at this time.”
Investigators are attempting to uncover the motive for the attack, with one source telling Fox News that Bickford was being watched for weeks prior to Saturday night’s attack by the FBI’s counterterrorism task force.
“I want to be clear that the FBI, through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, is working very closely with [NYPD] to determine the nature of this attack and we will run every lead to ground,” FBI’s Michael Driscoll said at a Sunday morning news conference per Fox News.