Two rookie NYPD officers overcame their training to successfully draw their weapons and fatally shoot an axe-wielding man who attacked a quartet of officers in broad daylight yesterday afternoon.
The attack occurred at about 2 p.m. while the officers were standing together on foot patrol, police said. Without a word, the man swung at an officer who blocked the blow with his arm. Another officer was hit in the back of the head and fell to the ground.
As the man raised the hatchet again, the two uninjured officers drew their weapons and fired several rounds, police said. The bullets killed the assailant and wounded a female bystander, police said.
The officer was in critical but stable condition and was expected to undergo surgery. The woman who was struck by a stray bullet also was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the back.
The man, identified as a Zale Thompson, pulled a camper’s axe from a backpack and attacked the officers without warning. The first officer struck partially blocked the initial attack with his arm. A second officer was critically wounded when Thompson struck him the in the head with the axe, but is expected to survive.
The two remaining officers managed to draw their firearms and fired a volley shots at Thompson, fatally striking him. Only one innocent bystander was struck by police gunfire. The bystander was shot in the back by the errant round, and is expected to survive.
The officers had to overcome an abbreviated NYPD Academy firearms training regimen that is antiquated and unrealistic, along with the absurdly heavy “New York triggers” in their service pistols that are twice as hard to pull as the standard triggers issued to other police departments and civilians in the United States. The heavy triggers make combat accuracy beyond bad-breath distance for the poorly-trained officers even more difficult. The triggers were forced upon officers in lieu of adequate training after the department transitioned from revolvers, only to find officers shooting suspects, bystanders, and themselves because they were never adequate trained at the Academy to grasp Rule Three.
There are suspicions—but not yet confirmation—that Thompson is yet another “lone wolf” Muslim attacker who was hoping to behead officers similarly to the way a pair of British Islamists beheaded soldier Lee Rigby in London last December.
The attack come during the same week that a Muslim convert carried out an attack on the National War Memorial and the Canadian Parliament, killing a soldier before begin shot and killed himself.