3 NYPD officers injured in incident involving man with meat cleaver (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

© Mike Segar
A man wielding a meat cleaver was shot by a NYPD police officer near Penn Station in New York City. Two policemen and one off-duty detective were injured in the incident and rushed to a hospital.

Gunshots were heard on 32nd street between Sixth and Seventh avenues in New York around 5:00pm in Midtown. Police and SWAT teams locked down the area.

New York City Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton, told reporters that three officers fired 18 shots at the cleaver-wielding man after he attacked officers.

"The officers fired sufficient rounds to stop the attack,” said the official.

He also said that the suspect, identified as Akram Joudeh, hit an off-duty detective with the weapon, inflicting a six-inch gash from temple to jaw, NBC reported.

The confrontation began when officers approached Joudeh as he attempted to remove a car boot, or wheel clamp, that had been attached to his vehicle.

“Two officers were injured. They are both stable, and being treated at Bellevue Hospital,” the NYPD had earlier told RT, adding that DCPI was on the scene in Midtown Manhattan.

NYPD Spokesperson J. Peter Donald confirmed that the suspect had a meat cleaver and was shot by the officers.

According to witness testimonies gathered by New York Daily News, NYPD officers were called in to a busy Midtown area just before 5:00pm, when witnesses reported seeing a man with a beard, wearing sandals, running and waving a meat cleaver in his hand.

“He was running down the street waving it,” an MTA worker told the publication. “The cops were chasing him.”

Officers, who reportedly had an off-duty detective among them, cornered the man on 32nd Street and ordered told him to drop the weapon. 

"Drop it! Drop it!” NYPD told the armed man repeatedly, according to witnesses. The suspect refused.

NY Daily News reported that the officers initially used a Taser on the man, which had no effect on him, according to a high-ranking police source. A tussle followed, during which a detective reportedly tried to knock the weapon from the suspect's hand.

That is when the suspect struck the cop in the head. The man was later shot by police. 

“They shot him up,” one witness told the news outlet. “He was hit five or six times. He was laid up on the sidewalk. It looked like he was dead.”

The perpetrator of the attack was rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

Meanwhile, NBC News reported that Joudeh, of Queens, was known to the police and had15 prior arrests, including one on August 27 after he was found carrying knives near a synagogue.

A Periscope tweet from @lyndseyrathburn showed an ambulance leaving the scene with at least three helicopters circling above. The street was cordoned off with a large police presence.