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Police Fatally Shoot Knife-Wielding Man Near NYC Times Square

Witness: “He was either going to get shot or he was going to take someone hostage"

New York police reportedly shot and killed a man in Midtown Manhattan just blocks from Times Square Saturday, according to the New York Post.

Police say officers were trying to stop the man at about 3 p.m. when he began backing down Seventh Avenue near West 38th Street, carrying a knife.

WPIX New York has more information:

The New York Post relates:

The madman, a 30-year-old male, [lunged] at officers, who told him to drop the knife. When he refused to let go of the weapon, they pepper-sprayed him. When he wouldn’t go down, at least one cop fired in plain sight of shocked witnesses, sources said.

“He came out of the subway and flashed two people,” said a witness, who said the victim was African American and sporting dread locks. “He tried to flash a cop, but then took off down Seventh Avenue. They were chasing him down. They cornered him between 37th and 38th and he was still waving his knife.” About 12 cops swarmed the scene, he said.

Shocked tourists and New Yorkers who witnessed the scene Tweeted in shock.

“Waiting for the bus on 7th Ave, a wall of NYPD walking, WITH GUNS, chasing down a madman with knife,” a witness who went by the handle Sim Marshall tweeted. “1 block later. He was shot.”

“I’ve been in NYC for 10 minutes and saw a man shot on 7th ave! Omg....” tweeted one out-of-towner.

NBC4 New York obtained cell phone video of the frightening event (content warning):

One witness, Edgar Delgado, described the scene: "I was standing at the corner of 42nd Street and saw this guy running in the middle of the street, police chasing him... He had a machete type knife. He didn't want to stop. Police told him to drop the knife. He didn't. They shot him."

Another witness said the man was taunting police, saying: "Come on, come get me," swinging at people with his knife as he ran.

The area near Times Square is typically filled with tourists and other pedestrians at that hour, but no motive has yet been announced.

One man, Dave Basso, drew his own conclusion: “He was either going to get shot or he was going to take someone hostage."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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