NEW YORK (PIX11) — A 19-year-old man with possible ties to radical Islamic extremism has now been charged with attacking NYPD officers at a New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, according to police, a law enforcement official familiar with the case, and some cyber crime analysts. 

Trevor Bickford, a resident of Wells, Maine, was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer and two counts of attempted assault on a police officer, investigators said Monday.

The attack happened around 10:10 p.m. at the intersection of 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue, about eight blocks from Times Square. The location is just outside the high-security zone where revelers are screened for weapons. 

Bickford allegedly struck two officers with a machete before an officer shot him in the shoulder. The two wounded officers were hospitalized, one with a fractured skull and the other with a bad cut, and are expected to recover.

Investigators believe that Bickford traveled to New York City from Maine — a 250-mile journey — and are examining whether he came to New York specifically to attack police officers at one of the largest New Year’s celebrations in the world, a law enforcement official said.

New York City police and federal officials are still trying to discern a motive, and investigators have been reviewing Bickford’s online postings, which included some mentions of Islamic extremist views, the official said.

Marie-Michelle Strah, a professor of international criminal justice at John Jay College, said that Bickford was known to FBI investigators because of online activity that his family had reported that involved radical Islam. 

Strah said that even though Bickford acted alone in the attack, he was connected to information and a community online that may have helped lead him to the attack.

“There’s a much larger network,” she said in an interview, “where sort of different points of radicalization can occur.”

And in that network, she said, some strategies are emphasized. 

“Using things like a holiday, a large gathering, a large concentration of law enforcement, which was one of his targets,” Strah said.  “It was like a target-rich environment for someone already committed to acting.”

Bickford was at Bellevue Hospital on Monday, recovering from the gunshot wound. He was charged while in the hospital.