NEW YORK (AP) -- A man who attacked four people with a hammer this week was shot and wounded by police Wednesday after he pulled the weapon from a bag and struck an officer at least three times on a crowded street near Penn Station, police said.
David Baril, 30, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition with at least two gunshot wounds, said Manhattan Chief of Detectives William Aubry. The two officers were responding to an unrelated assault at about 10 a.m. blocks from Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan when they noticed Baril on the street, wearing a hood and a mask, he said.
"When he turned around, he violently started swinging," Aubry said. Surveillance video captures the man striking Officer Lauren O'Rourke about three times before her partner, Geraldo Casaigne, fires four shots. Both O'Rourke and Baril fall to the ground.
Hells Kitchen hammer police shooting 5/13
Police shoot man suspected in 4 hammer attacks in Manhattan
An crime scene investigator with the New York Police Department places a tag next to a hammer lying in the middle of a Manhattan intersection, Wednesday, May 13, 2015 in New York, after a man apparently wielding the hammer was shot and wounded by police. The Fire Department of New York says he was taken to a hospital in stable condition. The shooting took place shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday blocks from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
"I was walking down 8th avenue between 36th and 37th when I heard three gunshots, I looked up and said "that wasn't real was it?" Then I ran cuz it was real, a few feet from me a man was on the ground with a hammer in front of him. The cops had shot and caught The Hammer Guy. #nypd #nyc #imshaking#toocloseforcomfort"
A New York Police Department investigator looks at a hammer after a man apparently wielding the hammer was shot and wounded by police, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in New York. The Fire Department of New York says he was taken to a hospital in stable condition. The shooting took place shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday blocks from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
"Crime scene in front of my office. Guy was attacking people w a hammer, tried to attack an off-duty cop. Bang bang. #rip"
Breaking News!! Man shot by police officer in nyc after the deranged man repeatedly attacked a woman with a hammer at 37th street and 8th avenue in Manhattan. After repeatedly refusing to stop and drop his weapon, the man lunged at police with the hammer and was shot. @nitelineradio www.NitelineRadio.com Live footage at the scene
Ripped from the headlines or experiencing it?! It appears that the police got the "Hammer" guy who'd been attacking women in the city recently. My colleagues heard 4 shots and the hammer is still in the middle of the street....
Shooting right outside of my hotel on #8thAve and #37th. Happened in the time that I went to Starbucks and when I headed back to hotel to grab my bag. Speculation is that the #NyPolice got the guy who had been hitting people in the head with a hammer over the last week. #NYC #crimescene
Police Commissioner William Bratton said she was undergoing testing and suffered back and possibly head injuries.
"These officers acted professionally and heroically this morning," Bratton said, adding that Casaigne likely saved O'Rourke's life.
The hammer was, for a time Wednesday, lying in the middle of intersection at 37th Street and 8th Avenue. Authorities believe it's the same weapon used in four attacks this week.
On Monday evening, 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. Another attack happened about 10 minutes later when a 33-year-old was struck from behind. Officers also discovered that a 20-year-old man was attacked with a hammer earlier Monday in a different part of the city.
Aubry said they tracked the suspect to a subway station where he used his metro card. Officers obtained an image of him and, using facial recognition technology, matched a photo with one on file at the department, Aubry said. His photo was circulated among officers heading out on patrol.
Baril has at least eight arrests and a history of schizophrenia and paranoia, police said. He had voluntarily left a mental institution a few months ago, police said.
The investigation into both the hammer attacks and the shooting continues. But Bratton said the surveillance footage clearly shows the suspect attacking the officer.
Baril's most recent address in the Bronx has no phone number.