The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into what could be deemed a terrorist act that took place in in Queens, New York, on Thursday. Zale Thompson, 32, is suspected of attacking four New York City Police Department officers with a hatchet while they posed for a photograph. Two cops were wounded before the police fatally shot the suspect, accidentally hitting a 29-year-old female bystander.
“This matter has not officially been deemed an act of terrorism as the initial investigation is still ongoing and details are being developed,” the FBI said in a statement.
The suspect wounded 25-year-old Kenneth Healey in the head and 24-year-old Joseph Meeker in the arm, New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said at a press conference. Healey is still in critical condition and was undergoing surgery at a hospital in Queens. Meeker was expected to be released Thursday night.
"Unprovoked and not speaking a word, the male then swung at one of the officers with a hatchet, striking his right arm,” Bratton said. “After striking that officer, the suspect continuing swinging the hatchet, striking a second officer in the head."
Bystanders filmed the attack on their cellphone cameras.
Thompson’s Facebook page reportedly contained “images of what appears to be a Muslim warrior and prayers,” MSNBC reported. International Business Times was not able to independently confirm the authenticity of the page.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 24, 2014
The FBI has been on high alert and has warned border officials to remain vigilant following two separate terrorist attacks in Canada this week. Canadian Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is suspected of opening fire at Canada’s parliament in Ottawa on Wednesday, killing a Canadian soldier and wounding several others. Earlier in the week, Martin Couture-Rouleau carried out a fatal hit-and-run attack on two Canadian military men in Quebec.