Dramatic pictures before and after hatchet attack on New York City cops surface

Officer Kenneth Healey lies on the ground with a wound to his head. Zale Thompson, who was shot by two officers after he attacked them with a hatchet, can be seen lying dead in the background.  -- PHOTO: MOTION VIEW PICTURES
Officer Kenneth Healey lies on the ground with a wound to his head. Zale Thompson, who was shot by two officers after he attacked them with a hatchet, can be seen lying dead in the background.  -- PHOTO: MOTION VIEW PICTURES
25-year-old officer Kenneth Healy lies bleeding on the ground after being attacked by Zale Thompson. Thompson ambushed the officers and attacked them with a hatchet. -- PHOTO: MOTION VIEW PICTURES
25-year-old officer Kenneth Healy lies bleeding on the ground after being attacked by Zale Thompson. Thompson ambushed the officers and attacked them with a hatchet. -- PHOTO: MOTION VIEW PICTURES
In a photo taken by freelance photographer Dominick Williams, rookie officers, including 25-year-old Kenneth Healy (third from left), are seen smiling and posing against a wall in Queens, just seconds before they were ambushed by a hatchet-wield
In a photo taken by freelance photographer Dominick Williams, rookie officers, including 25-year-old Kenneth Healy (third from left), are seen smiling and posing against a wall in Queens, just seconds before they were ambushed by a hatchet-wielding man. -- PHOTO: MOTION VIEW PICTURES

Pictures showing the moments before and after an attack on four New York City policemen last Thursday have surfaced.

In a photo taken by freelance photographer Dominick Williams, 21, the rookie officers are seen smiling and posing against a wall in Queens, just seconds before they were ambushed by a hatchet-wielding man.

Two of the officers were wounded. Officer Joseph Meeker, 24, was hacked in the arm, while 25-year-old Kenneth Healy was struck on his head. All four had just graduated on July 8 from the city's police academy.

The assailant, Zale Thompson, 32, was shot by the other two officers and pronounced dead at the scene. A 29-year-old female bystander was also wounded by a stray bullet.

Williams also documented the aftermath of the attack, with graphic pictures showing Thompson dead on the sidewalk, and Healy lying face down and bleeding heavily from his head.

Thompson's family described him as a "recluse" with mental health problems, reported The Daily Mail.

According to SITE, a group which monitors radical Muslim groups, Thompson had posted statements on Facebook and YouTube that "display a hyper-racial focus in both religious and historical contexts, and ultimately hint at his extremist leanings."

Police Commissioner William Bratton said the attack was a terrorist act by a homegrown radical, but who had no clear ties to international terrorism. 

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg