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NYPD officers walks through confetti and party items that remain on the street and sidewalk as they break down the set up after the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in New York City on Sunday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 1 (UPI) — Three New York City Police Department officers were struck by a man wielding a machete in an unprovoked attack near Times Square about two hours before the midnight Sunday, according to the NYPD commissioner.
In Mobile, Ala., a 24-year-old man was killed and nine others were injured, ranging from 17 to 57, in a shooting at 11:15p.m., just blocks from where people had gathered for the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration, according to WPMI. No arrests have been made.
And in Ocala, Fla., two people died and four others were injured in a shooting in Ocala around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, where a crowd of about 100 people were gathered, police said in a news release. Davonta Harris, 30, and Abdul Hakeem Van Croskey, 24, were identified by the police as the two people killed about 75 miles northwest of Orlando.
The NYPD officers were taken to Bellevue Hospital Center and later released. The attack occurred before 10 p.m. and West 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue, outside a Times Square New Year’s Eve security screening zone, Commissioner Keechant Sewell said during a news conference.
Polcie only identified the suspect as 19 years old but CNN and WNBC-TV reported he is Trevor Bickford of Maine and he carried a handwritten diary, which expressed his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan and die as a martyr.
Sewell said he approached an officer and attempted to strike him over the head with a machete. Then, he struck two additional officers before one fired his weapon, striking the suspect in the shoulder.
“Due to a police investigation avoid West 52nd St and 8th Avenue in Manhattan,” NYPD posted on Twitter on Saturday night. “Expect a police presence in the area and residual traffic delays in the surrounding area.”
During an early morning news conference, Mike Driscoll, the FBI assistant director in charge of the New York field office, said: “I want to be very clear … there is no ongoing threat.
“We believe this was a sole individual at this time. There is nothing to indicate otherwise.”
Law enforcement officials said they are looking into whether the suspect had previously posted what they called jihadist writings online and traveled to New York City to target police.
The FBI is working with the FBI, NYPD and Joint Terrorism Task Force.
One officer, who recently graduated from the city’s police academy, suffered a skull fracture and a large laceration to his head, Sewell said. An eight-year veteran suffered a laceration, the commissioner said. The to the third officer were not given.
New York Mayor Eric Adams, who was on hand for the celebatory crystal ball drop, said responding officers immediately secured the scene and acted “with a level of professionalism that we expect from all of our officers.”
Responding officers returned to their posts “because we still had a city we had to protect,” Adams said..