At least eight people have been killed and roughly a dozen injured after a man driving a Home Depot truck rammed into people on a pedestrian and bike lane near the World Trade Center site. The suspect then reportedly got out and waved a gun at people while trying to flee the scene, according to multiple news reports and the New York Police Department.
During a press conference Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the incident was being investigating as terrorism. He said:
We know that this action was intended to break our spirit. But we also know New Yorkers are strong; New Yorkers are resilient. and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence. An act meant to intimidate us.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said there’s no evidence of a wider scheme or ongoing threat, and said the incident seemed to fall into the “lone wolf” tactic used in recent attacks:
We’re not gonna let them win. And if we change our lives, we contort ourselves to them, they win and we lose. … The truth is New York is an international symbol of freedom and democracy … that also makes us a target for people who oppose those concepts.
According to the NYPD, the driver entered the West Street path shared by pedestrians and bikers a few blocks north of Chambers Street at 3:05 p.m. and veered to strike people on that path; as a result, “there are several fatalities and numerous people injured.” Police say that the vehicle struck a school bus, injuring people on board, before a man brandishing imitation firearms exited the vehicle and was shot by NYPD and then taken into custody.
New York police Commissioner James O’Neill said police aren’t immediately releasing the name of the 29-year-old suspect. He said the suspect “made a statement” when he exited the vehicle and that statement along with the type of attack lead investigators to believe it was an act of terror. He also said the suspect was hospitalized due to his injuries.
CBS News reported the suspect’s name to be Sayfullo Saipov.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) October 31, 2017
According to the New York Times, two police officers heard the suspect yell “Allahu Akbar,” which is Arabic for “God is great.”
Images of a box Home Depot truck believed to be used in the attack show the front end crushed. Police said they will hold a conference to discuss details about the incident.
City officials and authorities said a New York City Halloween parade would go forward as scheduled.
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