The suspect accused in bombings in New York and New Jersey has been taken into custody following a shootout in Linden, New Jersey, about four miles from his hometown of Elizabeth, NBC New York reports.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was arrested Monday about 11 a.m. after an exchange of gunfire with police, the news station reports. A video from the scene shows police near Rahami’s car. Several shots can be heard:
Rahami was being taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening wounds. He is expected to face federal charges.
Linden Mayor Derek Armstead told WABC-TV that local police recognized Rahami and engaged in a shootout with him. They were called to the scene by a bar owner who saw a man sleeping in a car outside his business and thought it was suspicious.
“At approximately 10:30 this morning, the owner of one of the establishments in town reported that there was an individual sleeping in his hallway,” Armstead told the news station. “One of our police officers went to investigate, to wake him up, and realized that he was the suspect that has been sought in the other bombings that had occurred prior…He realized it was the suspect, and within moments, the suspect had fired on him. And thank God that he had his vest on. I think that saved his life.”
One officer was shot, taking a round to his vest, the New York Sergeants Benevolent Association said on Twitter. The officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries, NBC reports.
Police Captain James Sarnicki told ABC, “When the officer tried to rouse the man in the doorway, when the man picked up his head, he noticed that the man had a beard and he looked like the suspect being sought. So he told him to show (him) his hands, and the suspect had his hand on his side…he pulled out a handgun, and he fired a shot at the officer, striking him in his bullet-proof vest in his abdomen. At that point, the officer returned fire.”
Just before 11 a.m., a Linden resident tweeted that someone was shooting outside her home.
It is not known if Rahami was seriously injured, a photo taken at the scene shows him handcuffed on the ground. Another photo showed him on a stretcher, where he was conscious and alert:
Rahami, an Elizabeth, New Jersey, resident, is a naturalized American citizen originally from Afghanistan. His family owns First American Fried Chicken in Elizabeth. The restaurant and the family’s home above it were raided by federal authorities Monday.
It is not clear if Rahami is the lone suspect in bombings that occurred in Seaside Park, New Jersey, Saturday morning and in the New York City neighborhood of Chelsea that night. No one was injured in the New Jersey blast, which occurred before a 5k run to benefit a military charity. There were 29 people wounded in Chelsea, one seriously, and all the victims had been released from the hospital by Monday.
Police also found five explosive devices, including pipe bombs, near the Elizabeth train station Sunday night. One of the devices exploded while it was being investigated by a bomb squad robot, but no one was injured.
Also Sunday night, the FBI detained five people near the Verrazano Bridge in Brooklyn, New York. NBC reports they are members of the same family and are related to Rahami. None were charged as of Monday morning and it is not clear if they are suspected of any wrongdoing.