MIDTOWN, Manhattan — A knife-wielding man was shot and killed by police in midtown Wednesday and during the chaos a bystander was grazed by a bullet, police said.
It was about 8:20 a.m. when a 46-year-old man went into the Food Emporium at West 49th Street and Eighth Avenue, police said. He became “aggressive and belligerent,” Chief of Department James O’Neill said at a news conference Wednesday morning. He’d gone into the store to buy beer and started arguing with the cashier.
As the man was swearing at customers and workers inside the store, a police officer on patrol nearby was called in, O’Neill said.
A struggle ensued between the officer and the culprit and the pair fell to the ground outside the store. As the man was getting back on his feet, he allegedly pulled out an 8-inch knife, O’Neill said.
The first officer and two others who arrived for help told the man to drop his weapon but he continued to approach them, O’Neill said. That’s when an officer and a sergeant fired some nine shots, fatally striking the man, whose name has not been released. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
During the gunfire, a bystander suffered a graze wound to her wrist, O’Neill said. She was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
A police officer also was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, though it was unclear the nature of the officer’s wounds, O’Neill said. It was not immediately known whether he was stabbed, slashed or hurt during the struggle.
Eighth Avenue was closed for the investigation, an NYPD spokesman said.
A usually busy neighborhood during the weekday morning rush, the area around the scene was especially bustling when shots were fired as striking Verizon workers protested what they say are unfair wages.
PIX11 News’ Dan Mannarino contributed to this report.