The police shot a machete-wielding man who attacked three officers on Saturday night near Times Square, injuring him and creating a chaotic scene just hours before the ball dropped to mark New Year’s Day in New York City, the authorities said.
The suspect was struck in the shoulder and taken to a hospital, the police said. The authorities did not say how severe the suspect’s injuries were and did not identify him beyond saying that he was a 19-year-old man.
At a news conference early Sunday, both Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams emphasized that there was no ongoing threat to public safety.
“We are working with our federal partners for this investigation, and it is ongoing,” Commissioner Sewell said, urging witnesses to contact the police with any information they might have. She declined to comment on whether the suspect was previously known to law enforcement or had a history of mental illness.
The attack occurred shortly after 10 p.m. near the corner of Eighth Avenue and 52nd Street, just outside the security screening area that the police had established for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, the authorities said.
The man, unprovoked, tried to hit one officer with the machete before striking two other officers in the head, Commissioner Sewell said. One officer suffered a laceration, she said; the other, who had just graduated from the police academy on Friday, suffered a skull fracture and a large laceration.
One of the officers fired their gun, striking the suspect in the shoulder, Commissioner Sewell said.
All three officers were taken to a hospital and were in stable condition, Commissioner Sewell and Mayor Adams said. Hospital officials, citing medical privacy laws, declined to comment on the conditions of any of the patients.
“It is a happy New Year,” Mayor Adams said. “We’ve got three officers who are going home.”
The attack and subsequent gunfire rattled the crowds nearby. Video from the scene showed people running up Eighth Avenue and across 52nd Street in the rain, trying to hurriedly navigate the slick sidewalks and streets filled with metal barricades. Officers screamed over blaring sirens, ordering people to move in various directions — and out of the way.
Within roughly 30 minutes of the attack, the New York Police Department warned of a heavy police presence and a continuing investigation in the area.