MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) — The NYPD and the FBI are investigating after three officers were attacked by a man with a machete just blocks away from Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
The attack happened around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night, just hours before the ball drop.
The two officers were hospitalized, one with a fractured skull and the other with a bad cut, but expected to recover.
One of the officers was an eight-year veteran while the other was a rookie officer who just graduated on Friday.
Moments after the attack, the suspect was shot in the shoulder by police.
Police did not immediately identify the 19-year-old suspect, who also was expected to recover. They are now looking into the motive behind the attack.
The attack and sound of a gunshot briefly sent some people in the crowd running, but the incident did not impact the festivities in Times Square, which continued uninterrupted.
Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference that he had spoken to one of the wounded officers as he was being stitched up at the hospital.
“He was in good spirits,” Adams said. “He understood that his role saved lives of New Yorkers today.”
The blocks where the biggest crowds gather to see performances and the midnight ball drop can only be accessed through checkpoints where officers use metal-detecting wands to screen for weapons. Large bags and coolers are banned. Barriers are set up to prevent vehicle attacks in the secure area.
The security perimeter can only extend so far, though. The attack took place on 8th Avenue, which is often packed with thick crowds navigating around the frozen zone or trying to find one of the secure entrances.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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