Pandemonium broke out near New York’s Penn Station Thursday evening (Sept. 15) as an irate madman wielding a meat cleaver was shot nearly half a dozen times by NYPD after slicing an off-duty police officer for placing a boot on his car.
The suspect, identified as 32-year-old Akram Joudeh of Queens chased a cop up Sixth Avenue with a butcher knife before the confrontation with law enforcement. Several members of the NYPD surrounded Joudeh and told him to drop the weapon, but according to the New York Daily News, Joudeh refused.
According to a high-ranking police officer, cops on the scene attempted to use a taser but it had no impact. A detective then tried to knock the weapon out of Joudeh’s hand and it was at that time he was struck in the head, leaving a deep gash. According to a witnesses, that’s when the shots rang out.
“They shot him up,” one witness said. “He was hit five or six times. He was laid up on the sidewalk. It looked like he was dead.”
Some witnesses later ran out of fear, while others didn’t think the chaos was anything unusual for Midtown Manhattan.
“Honestly we didn’t think anything of it at first,” said Christopher Okada, 36, president of Okada & Co. real estate. “There were eight or nine shots in a row. Someone in the office was like ‘that was gunshots.’
A second cop was injured suffering a wound to the back. Both officers and Joudeh were taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment. The off-duty detective was in surgery and his condition is still unclear. Joudeh–who has a lengthy criminal history–his condition is also unknown.