He was the photographer who wanted to take pictures of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers.
"I saw four officers grouped together against two closed doors... and got the okay" to photograph them, said Motion View Pictures photographer Dominick Williams on Facebook.
Little did he realise that he would be capturing more than what anyone bargained for.
Here's the frame-by-frame first-account from the photographer:
1) Photographer Dominick Williams was walking along Jamaica Avenue in Queens, New York, last week when he saw these cops.
After getting their permission, he began shooting the men in blue.
2) As he showed the officers the photos, a man - later identified as 32-year-old Zale Thompson - charged up.
He swung at the officers with an axe
3) An officer on the extreme right shouted: "Watch out!"
The first officer from the left takes precaution instantly as Thompson swings with extreme force and misses the target.
But the second officer was a bit slow dodging the blow.
“The second officer is now down. (He's) wounded with a big gash on the right of his head," Williams wrote. Shots are now fired (estimate of seven).”
4) As other officers called for backup, Williams told Huffington Post he could hear one of the cops saying “Oh my god."
Another told their wounded partner to stay calm.
Williams recalled: “He was telling him ‘keep your head down, it’s going to be ok, everything’s going to be all right."
5) Though he “scattered” at the sound of gun shots, Williams came back to “capture more photos for an end result.”
The whole scene “happened so fast.”
“But I was eager to capture the photos. I knew what it was about. I knew what these photos would mean. I was gonna leave, but I went back,” he said.
Two officers were wounded before Thompson was shot dead.
New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton later called Thompson a homegrown terrorist.
Overall, Williams told TheBlaze that feedback to his photographs has been positive.
“I’ve gotten one message where I feel like it was a threat, but I took it lightly,” he said.
“I’ve been laughing at a lot of things I’ve seen going on on my Facebook… It’s eye opening just to know what kind of people we have out there, you know.”
Sources: Facebook/ Motion View Pictures, TheBlaze.com, AFP, Reuters
Related report: Hatchet-wielding man attacks New York City cops, critically wounds an officer