A hatchet-wielding radical Islamist chopped an NYPD officer in the back of his skull and injured another officer hundreds of yards from campus on Jamaica Avenue last Thursday, causing police to open fire, killing the suspect and injuring a female bystander, according to eyewitness interviews.
Rookie cop Kenneth Healey was attacked by Zale Thompson, identified by the NYPD, with a blue-handled hatchet just after 2 p.m. off of Jamaica Ave. between Guy R. Brewer and 160th St., according to police.
“I literally put my hand on the doorknob, and I just heard gunshots,” said York College Communications Technology student, Glorimar Cepeda, 20. “Everybody was yelling ‘they’re shooting, they’re shooting!’”
Cepeda and her friends, including Communications Technology major Kevin Aponte, ran upstairs and looked out the windows of the building they were in and saw police had already started clearing the streets.
“There was a dead guy right there. Just saw a him laying in front of Conway,” said Aponte, 20.
After Healey was attacked, police began shooting, injuring a female bystander who was rushed off to Jamaica Hospital.
Footage of the attack showed Zale ran up to a group of NYPD officers and swung the hatchet three times. The first blow hit Healey in the back of his skull, fracturing it and making him fall to the ground. A second swing hit another officer in the arm.
Police Commissioner William J. Bradley held a press conference from the hospital later that day, saying that Islamic radicalism could have played a part in the attack, but would not say without question.
Zale’s Facebook page was littered with jihadist messages.
However the NYPD is continuing to look into terrorism as an intended motive.