BY ROBERT POZARYCKI AND ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH
Three officers were injured in what Police Commissioner Dermot Shea described as an “cowardly, despicable, unprovoked attack” by a knife-wielding man in Brooklyn late on Wednesday night.
The FBI is now investigating the incident as a “terrorist act,” and raided a nearby apartment for possible evidence in the attack, police officials said.
The incident happened at around 11:45 p.m. on June 3 in the vicinity of Flatbush and Church Avenues, where a male suspect approached two officers on anti-looting detail and stabbed one of the cops in the neck. Miraculously, the blade did not sever an artery, the commissioner noted.
What happened next remains under investigation, but Shea noted that officers a short distance away heard shots being fired and responded to the location.
“We believe that when they got there, they saw the perpetrator with a gun in his hand which we believe belonged to one of the officers,” Shea said during an early-morning press conference Thursday outside Kings County Medical Center. “What we know at this point in time that 22 shell casings had been recovered from a number of members of the service we know we had a chaotic scene with a knife recovered as well.”
The stabbed officer was rushed to the hospital and is listed in stable condition. Two officers who were shot in the hand were also taken there and are recovering, the commissioner noted.
The suspect was shot multiple times in the exchange and is now in critical condition, Shea said.
Not sure why but there is now a massive cop presence next to my building. pic.twitter.com/0NGlE1izu4
— Alejandra 🎃’Connell-Domenech (@AODNewz) June 4, 2020
“It appears to be a completely cowardly, despicable, unprovoked attack on a defenseless police officer, and thank God we’re not planning a funeral right now,” an irate Shea said. He spoke about checking in earlier in the day on two injured officers who were attacked during the unrest related to the George Floyd attacks, and said the time had come to put such violence to an end.
“The men and women of this department should not have to withstand anymore, not one more attack,” the commissioner said. “And it’s going to take all leaders, elected officials, clergy… community leaders, grassroots people who live in the community, I think we are all fed up with what we’re seeing in many levels. This violence has to stop. People have to speak. Words matter.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed those sentiments while expressing relief that the officers will survive to serve another day.
“This is a moment in our history where we’ve got to support each other,” de Blasio said. “We have to respect and support them. We’ve got to find a way to move forward no matter how much is thrown at us.”
Both the NYPD and federal law enforcement agents are investigating the incident.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) June 4, 2020