Police Commissioner William Bratton on Friday said the man who attacked two city police officers with an ax in Queens was a self-radicalized individual with no immediate ties to a terror organization and that they are still trying to pinpoint an exact motive.
Bratton said there is evidence Zale Thompson, 32, had been looking up anti-government websites prior to Thursday's attack that left two NYPD officers wounded, one critically.
Investigators say Thompson had been arrested six times prior to the incident, most recently involving domestic violence charges in California.
They also say he was discharged from the military.
"We're attempting to identify whether he had any connectivity within the Muslim community, so that's the effort we're making and undertaking to see if there's any affiliation with a mosque or associations," Bratton said.
Investigators say it all began when four officers posed together for a photo on Jamaica Avenue. They say Thompson then approached them from behind and swung the hatchet which was pulled from a bag he was carrying.
Officer Joseph Meeker, 24, was hit in the arm and Officer Kenneth Healey, 25, was struck in the head before Thompson was stopped by the other two officers.
Healey remains in critical but stable condition.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says Officer Meeker was treated and released from the hospital.
A 29-year-old woman who was standing nearby was struck in the back by a police bullet and is expected to fully recover.
Bratton also cited Wednesday's shooting at Canada's Parliament building as a cause for concern.