A machete-wielding man injured three police officers in New York City near New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square, according to authorities.
BREAKING: Two NYPD Officers stabbed near New York “Times Square” New Years Eve Celebration, suspect reportedly in custody and officers in route to hospitals.. police said to be evacuating area.. pic.twitter.com/cFXexgziOd
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) January 1, 2023
The attack happened at roughly 10:11 p.m. on Saturday at West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue outside the security screening zone, according to a press conference from New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
The suspect has been identified as 19-year-old Trevor Bickford of Maine, who reportedly has ties to Islamic extremism.
Bickford allegedly approached one officer from behind “unprovoked,” and attempted to strike him over the head with a machete, according to Sewell. The suspect then allegedly struck two other NYPD officers in the head with the machete.
Watch as Police Commissioner Sewell & Mayor Adams provide an update on a police involved incident in Manhattan. https://t.co/ha11b02Fvq
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 1, 2023
Bickford was then shot in the shoulder by one of the officers, Sewell said.
All of the injured officers were transported to a hospital and were reported to be in stable condition. The suspect was also brought to the hospital.
A photograph of the machete used in the attack was shared on Twitter by the NYPD.
This is the weapon that was recovered at the scene. https://t.co/Waaux2hUTt pic.twitter.com/EijU7QUgkQ
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 1, 2023
One of the injured officers, who sustained a laceration to the head, was identified as an eight-year NYPD veteran. Another injured officer, who sustained a skull fracture and large laceration, reportedly had just graduated from the police academy on Friday, according to Sewell.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) revealed that he had spoken to one of the injured officers while the man was being treated at the hospital. According to Adams, the officer was in “good spirits” and “understood that his role saved lives of New Yorkers today.”
The mayor also confirmed that there were “no credible threats” to New York residents at this time.
The FBI has been called in to assist in the investigation.
Speaking at the press conference, FBI assistant director in charge of the New York Field Office Mike Driscoll stated: “I want to be clear that the FBI, through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, is working very closely with [NYPD] to determine the nature of this attack.”
“I want to be very clear … there is no ongoing threat,” he added. “We believe this was a sole individual at this time. There is nothing to indicate otherwise.”
Meanwhile, Bickford allegedly left behind a manifesto, in which he urged his family to “repent to Allah and accept Islam,” according to a report released on Sunday.
According to police sources, Bickford traveled to New York City several days before the attack and had checked in to the Bowery Mission in Manhattan while carrying various religious materials, $200 and a handwritten note addressed to his family.
“To my family – specifically, mother – I’m sorry for not having been a good enough son,” the note says. “I fear greatly that you will not repent to Allah. And therefore I hold in my heart that a piece of you believes so that you may be taken out to the hellfire.”
Bickford goes on to tell his brother, Travis: “Of anyone I’ve known who I have felt is closest to faith – it’s you.”
“Of anyone I’ve ever wanted to accept Islam with me – it’s you. Please repent to Allah and accept Islam. I fear for you,” the suspect allegedly wrote.
He then addresses his other brother, Devon, who is in the Marines, writing: “there was a time when we were close, but that time has passed.”
“You have joined the ranks of my enemy. And for that I can give you no kind words – return to Allah,” Bickford added.
The FBI, along with officers from the Wells Police Department, have been investigating Bickford’s home, according to local media reports.
Speaking with Fox News Digital, a high-level police source revealed that Bickford was being watched by the FBI’s counterterrorism task force in the weeks leading up to the machete attack. The source also stated that the suspect had recently converted to Islam and a tipster had told authorities that Bickford had expressed interest in traveling to Afghanistan.