A police officer was stabbed in the neck on Wednesday at a Michigan airport by a Canadian-born suspect who yelled “Allahu Akbar” in a possible act of terrorism.
Authorities say the officer, identified by local news outlets as Lt. Jeff Neville, is in stable condition.
A witness told the Flint Journal he was dropping off his daughter at Bishop International Airport when he saw the injured officer.
“The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck,” Ken Brown told the newspaper. “I said they need to get him a towel.”
Brown said he saw a man detained by police and a knife on the ground at the Flint airport.
A law enforcement official said authorities were investigating reports that the suspect said “Allahu Akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.”
Lt. Jeff Neville was stabbed in the neck Wednesday at Bishop International Airport. He is in stable condition.
The FBI said in a statement that “it is too early” to determine whether or not it was an act of terrorism. Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said “everything is on the table” regarding motive but cautioned against jumping to conclusions.
The suspect is from Quebec and has a Canadian passport, law enforcement officials told NBC News.
Witnesses describe seeing a man led away in handcuffs by police. The terminal was evacuated at approximately 9:40 a.m., according to the Flint Journal.
“All passengers are safe and are being evacuated at this time,” the airport said in a statement on Facebook. “Please check with your airline for potential cancellations or delays.”
At least 20 police vehicles from several agencies responded to the incident, according to the newspaper. The FBI is leading the investigation into the stabbing.
Police officers gather at a terminal at Bishop International Airport following Wednesday’s attack.
A witness at the scene said the suspect had a husky build and a “blank” look on his face.
Cherie Carpenter tells WJRT she saw the attacker’s face. She was awaiting a flight to Texas to see her new grandchild.
Flint officials have stationed police officers around City Hall out of caution following the attack a few miles away.
Lt. Neville is a former member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, according to his Linkedin page.
He is “probably one of the nicest individuals you’d ever meet,” Genesee County Commissioner Mark Young told NBC News. “He’s always quick to help and try to help people who have problems. I literally don’t know anyone more like that then him.”
Travelers sit outside a terminal at Bishop International Airport on Wednesday following an attack on a police officer.
Young told the network that Neville had undergone surgery and was in recovery when he left the hospital.
Mayor Karen Weaver said “the situation is under control” at the airport but officials sought to take “extra precautions.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with all of our law enforcement officers who work to service and protect us each and every day,” the mayor said in a statement, according to Click on Detroit.
With News Wire Services