The teenager suspected of attacking three New York City police officers with a machete on New Year’s Eve has been charged with attempted murder, police said Monday.
According to authorities, the 19-year-old from Wells, Maine, attacked three NYPD officers near Times Square on Saturday at roughly 10:11 p.m., attempting to strike one before hitting two other officers in the head with the weapon. The suspect has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of attempted assault, NBC New York reported.
The suspect was reportedly placed on an FBI terror watchlist recently after his aunt claimed he had been radicalized online and expressed a desire to fight overseas for Islamic extremists. He allegedly made pro-jihadi statements from his hospital bed and had writings in his backpack that contained Islamic extremist propaganda. Law enforcement sources told NBC that the suspect had been interviewed by federal investigators before the machete attack.
Officials also said the teenager had written instructions in a diary about where he wanted to be buried and who should get his belongings. The suspect also allegedly wrote that he was sorry for disappointing his mom and wants his brother to join him in his radical Islamic beliefs.
Authorities are investigating whether the attack was inspired by radical Islamic extremism, CBS News reported. Police believe the teenage suspect traveled via Amtrak from Maine to New York earlier last week, and sources told CBS that the NYPD was not aware the suspect was placed on an FBI terror watchlist.
The suspect was subdued after he was shot in the shoulder by one of the officers he had attacked. All three NYPD officers were taken to a hospital and have since been released. The suspect was also taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to survive his injuries.
One officer, identified as an eight-year veteran, sustained a laceration to the head. Another, who graduated from the police academy on Friday, suffered a skull fracture and large laceration, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.