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Police: Man Attacks Officer With Meat Cleaver Near New York's Madison Square Garden
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Police: Man Attacks Officer With Meat Cleaver Near New York's Madison Square Garden

The suspect is in critical condition, police say.

A man attacked a police officer with a meat cleaver near New York's Penn Station Thursday before being shot by police, according to a statement from law enforcement officials.

The officers shot the suspect, Queens resident 32-year-old Akram Joudah, multiple times around 5 p.m. as he chased police with an 11-inch meat cleaver after being caught trying to remove a boot from his car, incoming New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill told reporters.

One off-duty detective was in serious condition after Joudah slashed him, resulting in a six-inch cut from the law enforcement official's temple to his jaw. The detective and two other injured officers were taken to nearby Bellevue Hospital for treatment, along with the suspect, who was described by sources as an "emotionally disturbed person." He is in stable but critical condition, police said.

"He did what we would want any New York City police officer to do: self-engage," outgoing NYPD Commissioner David Bratton said of the off-duty detective.

Peter Donald, spokesman for the NYPD, confirmed on Twitter that the shooting took place in Midtown Manhattan at 32nd Street and Broadway, near the well-known Madison Square Garden.

Police fired 18 shots at the suspect after officers failed in their attempt to Taser him. Joudah climbed on top of a police cruiser and slashed the detective, who tried to tackle him, before the officers opened fire.

Jonathan Schneier, a bystander who witnessed the altercation, said he was on his way to get a cup of coffee when he saw the man holding the butcher's knife, surrounded by several officers ordering him to drop the weapon.

"I give credit to the police officers," he said. "They gave him many opportunities."

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