The father of the Navy veteran who attacked four New York City police officers with a hatchet earlier this week wanted to kill white people, his father told reporters Saturday.
Ralph Thompson told the New York Post that his son Zale "committed suicide" when he attacked the officers in Jamaica, Queens Thursday evening, striking two of them before he was fatally shot.
"And he was taking one of y'all with him," the elder Thompson added, later clarifying that the "y'all" was a reference to white people.
"He just said, 'They have to pay for all their unfairness,'" Ralph Thompson added. "Unfairness for the way they treat black people."
The Post reported that three of the four officers Thompson attacked are white, while the fourth is Hispanic.
New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Friday that Thompson's attack was "a terrorist attack, certainly." But he also stopped short of including the attack in the list of terror plots against the city since Sept. 11, 2001, saying the investigation was continuing.
The Post, citing NYPD sources, reported that Thompson was not tied to any terror group and had no criminal record in New York prior to his attack, though the 32-year-old did have a history of run-ins with the law over domestic violence in California in 2003 and 2004. In recent postings on social media, he ranted about injustices in American society and oppression abroad, police told the Associated Press.
According to the Post, Thompson recently carried out an Internet search using the phrase, "jihad against police." The paper also reported that he looked up news stories on two attacks in Canada by homegrown radicals earlier this week that resulted in the deaths of two of that country's soldiers.
"America’s military is strong abroad, but they have never faced an internal mass revolt," he wrote on Facebook, where his page featured a photo of a Muslim warrior with a turban and sword. "They are weaker at home. We are scattered and decentralized, we can use this as an advantage."
Officer Kenneth Healey remained in a Queens hospital Saturday recovering from a head injury sustained in Thompson's attack. A bystander hit by a stray bullet was also in hospital Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.