New York City 'hammer man': Police shoot man said to be wielding mallet

Incident follows reports of series of series of attacks by man armed with implement

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The Independent US

New York police have shot the so-called "hammer man" - an individual suspected of carrying out a series of attacks in the heart of the city.

The shooting took place at 10.05 a.m. on Wednesday near of 37th Street and Eighth Avenue in central Manhattan. Officials said the man was shot while trying to attack a female officer.

The suspect David Baril, 30, was quickly taken to Bellevue Medical Centre. A hospital spokesman said he was in a critical but stable condition.

William Bratton, New York Police Department Commissioner, said that when officers approached Mr Baril, who fit the description of the previous hammer-wielding attacker, he attempted to strike the female officer with the tail end of the hammer.

Mr Bratton believes the officer who shot saved his partner’s life.
The female officer is being treated for non-life threatening injuries while the suspect is being treated at the hospital.

John McGuiness, an employee at the Eastgate Realty Corporation, said he did not see Mr Baril swing a hammer but saw him hit the ground after being shot several times.

“People were screaming, crying and running after the shooting. They’d witnessed the event and ran inside buildings to calm down,” he told The Independent. “He seemed responsive but stopped moving after while. Everyone in the street was shocked, confused and alarmed at the whole thing.”

Authorities suspect that the man was linked to two attacks in Union Square earlier this week.

The Associated Press said preliminary information showed officers tried to approach the man, and he took out what appeared to be a hammer and lunged at officers. The officers then fired.