At least eight people have been killed in what the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, described as a “cowardly act of terror.” On Tuesday afternoon, a man drove a Home Depot rental pickup truck into a crowd on a jogging and bike path, striking pedestrians and bicyclists along a nearly 10 block stretch of West Side Highway.
According to ABC News, the suspect, who was shot by police officers and taken into custody, is 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov from Tampa, Florida.
The suspect’s actions were reportedly deliberate, as, according to local law enforcement, he took a “purposeful turn” to enter the jogging and biking path located in lower Manhattan.
At least eight people were killed during the attack, and another 12 were injured.
As reported by The New York Times, two local law enforcement officials stated the attacker was heard yelling “Allahu Akbar” as he exited the truck after striking the pedestrians and cyclists, and ultimately running into a school bus that, according to the Washington Post, was occupied by two adults and two children. The phrase is Arabic and translates to “God is great.”
The suspect appeared to be holding two firearms when he left the vehicle and police were prompted to open fire. According to one official, “He jumped out of the truck with a pellet gun, yelled, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ and the First Precinct lit him up,” referring to a police officer who was nearby when the attack began and confronted the attacker, and whom local authorities are crediting with saving multiple lives due to his quick actions.
The law enforcement officials added that the suspect is in grave condition and is being treated at a nearby hospital. James O’Neill, the New York Police Commission, stated during a news conference that a pellet gun and paintball gun were found at the scene.
O’Neill also said that the police officer who confronted the attacker he shot the suspect in the abdomen.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that there is no evidence of a wider, ongoing threat, but added that local law enforcement would be monitoring the streets during the night of Halloween.
Officials have also confirmed that a Halloween parade schedule in the West Village, which is located near the crime scene, will go forward as planned.