New York - A man suspected of attacking four people with a hammer this week was shot and wounded by police Wednesday after he pulled a hammer from a bag and lunged at officers who approached him on the street near Penn Station, police said.
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Manhattan Chief of Detectives William Aubry said the officers were responding to an unrelated assault when they noticed the suspect and approached him.
"When he turned around, he violently started swinging," Aubry said.
One officer fired four times, striking the suspect twice. Police said the man was in critical but stable condition at a hospital.
A hammer lay in the middle of the intersection at 37th Street and Eighth Avenue.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said investigators have copious video of the incident. He commended the officers.
Police said the man is the same person who attacked four people with a hammer this week.
On Monday night, a 34-year-old woman was struck in a park. A few hours later, a 28-year-old woman in Union Square noticed a man looking at her, and he then pulled a hammer out of a bag and bashed her head. About 10 minutes later, a 33-year-old was struck from behind.
Officers later discovered that a fourth attack happened earlier Monday in a different part of the city. A 20-year-old man was injured.
Throngs of onlookers gathered Wednesday as police set up a crime scene.
Anthony O'Grady, 26, said there was a chase and then the suspect turned around.
"And they shot him," O'Grady said. He said he was in Union Square earlier in the week when one of the hammer attacks occurred.
The investigation is ongoing.