Police in New York City on Thursday shot a man wielding a meat cleaver, an incident that left an off-duty detective injured with a gash to his face, authorities said.
The incident unfolded Thursday in midtown Manhattan, James P. O’Neill, the department’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, said in prepared remarks released by the New York Police Department. At around 5 p.m., officers responding to a call encountered a man, who pulled out an 11-inch meat cleaver and took off.
“The officers pursued him and broadcast his description over the radio,” the remarks stated. “The suspect continued to run to 6th Avenue, northbound with the cleaver in his hand.”
An off-duty detective was hurt while attempting to tackle the man, according to the Associated Press. He was helping police who were chasing the suspect, and suffered what described in AP’s report as “a six-inch gash from his temple to his jaw.”
The remarks released from the department also called the injury a “gash,” and said it was about six inches.
Police spokesman J. Peter Donald wrote on Twitter that officers opened fire after they encountered a man with a meat cleaver. He was hit when police fired “several rounds,” wrote Donald, who also noted that the information was still preliminary.
The suspect was identified as 32-year-old Akram Joudeh. He was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition, police said in the remarks.
Two other officers were hurt in the incident, the statement noted, but it wasn’t immediately clear how those injuries — which aren’t considered to be life-threatening — occurred.
According to the AP, the ordeal unfolded after officers came across a man who was trying to take off a parking boot.
After the officers approached, Joudeh pulled an 11-inch knife and ran, police said. A growing group of officers chased him, and at one point shot him with a Taser, with no apparent effect.
A bystander, Jonathan Schneier, said when he left work to get coffee he saw a balding man holding a cleaver, surrounded by a small group of officers yelling at him to drop the knife.
The remarks released by NYPD stated that the detective, who was dressed in civilian clothes, was “struck in the head by the cleaver,” which caused the gash.
“Uniformed members then fired at the suspect, striking him several times,” the remarks stated.