Police have shot and killed a man they say lunged at them with a knife in a confrontation around one of New York City's most tourist-heavy areas.
The incident started on Saturday afternoon in Times Square when officers approached a 51-year-old man they say appeared to be smoking marijuana near West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue.
The man became agitated, pulled out an 11in knife and began to put a bandanna on his head, police said.
He refused repeated orders to drop the weapon and began backing down the avenue, continuing for a number of blocks and drawing many officers into a slow-speed pursuit that took them south of Times Square.
According to the police account, officers pepper-sprayed the man six times but he held on to the knife throughout the seven-block pursuit.
At West 37th Street, he lunged at his pursuers and two officers shot him in the torso, police said.
He was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital.
Witnesses recalled a chaotic scene in which some bystanders took cover, while others began following the procession down the avenue in an attempt to capture mobile phone video of it.
On video obtained by NY1 cable news station, a number of officers, guns drawn, can be seen pursuing the man as he appears to skip down Seventh Avenue.