Multiple New York Police Department (NYPD) officers were injured in an attack that was carried out on New Year’s Eve with an 18-inch knife, Fox News reports.
A suspect is in custody, and it appears that the police may now have the suspect’s motive.
The attack took place on Saturday evening at about 10:00 p.m. at West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue.
This location is just outside of where the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebrations were taking place. Three officers, including one rookie who had just graduated, were stationed at this location in order to screen those looking to attend the celebrations for weapons.
It was as these officers were doing so that, according to the New York Post, a man with an 18-inch knife attacked them. The Post reports:
[T]he rookie cop . . . was struck on the head, prompting another cop to shoot the suspect, striking him in the shoulder, the sources said. [The rookie cop] suffered a large laceration and skull fracture. One of the other cops, an eight-year veteran, was also struck on the head with the weapon and suffered a laceration.
In a subsequent report, the Post indicated that the officers were taken to the Bellevue Hospital. There, they were treated, and they are expected to make a full recovery.
The suspect was also taken to the Bellevue Hospital for his gunshot wound. He, too, has been treated and is expected to recover.
What we know so far:
The suspect who carried out the attack and who is now in police custody has been identified as 19-year-old Trevor Bickford of Wells, Maine.
An investigation is being conducted by local police and the FBI. Initially, it was unclear what the suspect’s motive was.
The Post, though, reported on a potential link of the suspect to Islamic extremism:
A preliminary search by investigators turned up no criminal record for Bickford, police sources said. But police sources said the FBI in Boston has an open case on him and he is on something called a guardian list because of his radicalization. Bickford’s aunt notified authorities because he apparently made statements to her indicating a desire to go fight in Afghanistan, police sources said.
Since then, more information has been learned about Bickford that appears to confirm these earlier reports.
“Enemy of the state”
The Post’s latest report on the matter indicates that Bickford is an Islamic radical and that on New Year’s Eve he targeted “a uniformed officer” because he believed them to be an “enemy of the state.”
The Post reports that Bickford “found religion” in 2018 after his dad died as the result of an overdose, but that he did not become radicalized until more recently.
He was placed on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist after his mother and aunt alerted the FBI of Bickford’s newfound extremism.