Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street

One police officer was critically injured and another wounded in the attack

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The Independent US

An axe-wielding man who attacked four police officers posing for a photograph on a busy street in New York has been shot dead.

Two policemen were wounded in the attack, one critically, before the suspect was shot by two other police officers. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

All four officers involved in the New York City incident had recently graduated from the city Police Academy.

New York police say at this stage there is no known motive for the attack. When asked whether it may have been related to terrorism, Police Commissioner William Bratton said: "This early on, we really cannot say yes or no to that question.”

The man pulled a small axe from a rucksack he was carrying and charged at officers at around 2pm on Thursday afternoon in a busy shopping area in Queens, a New York Police Department spokesman said.

The officers were on foot patrol when they were asked by a freelance photographer to pose for a picture.

Suddenly the man, who was seen on a street corner crouching down to pull the hatchet out of backpack just moments before, ran at the officers, swinging it and striking one officer in the right arm and then swinging it again and striking a second officer in the head, the spokesman said.

The remaining two officers fired their weapons at the man, hitting him. The suspect has not been identified but is believed to be approximately 32 years old.

One of the officers suffered a serious head wound and the other received a blow to their right arm.

A 29-year-old female bystander was also wounded when she was struck by a stray bullet. She underwent surgery and was recovering at the hospital, the spokesman said.

Additional reporting by agencies