Police were initially not ruling out terrorism in the Washington D.C. truck ramming tragedy in the popular Adams Morgan neighborhood.
They were not ruling it in, either, as the incident remained under investigation.
However, on Friday, the police chief said there was no evidence pointing to terrorism.
The white pickup truck traveled at a high rate of speed and crashed into two D.C. bicycle officers and a Public Works employee on June 8, sending one officer to the hospital in critical condition and leaving the other two victims with non life-threatening injuries, Police Chief Peter Newsham said in a news conference.
Brandon Figures-Mormon has been charged in connection with the ramming.
Trucks have been used by ISIS-influenced terrorists in several major incidents in Europe in the past year, from Nice, France to Berlin, Germany, to London, England. That had people wondering the obvious question: Was the Adams Morgan truck ramming incident terrorism?
Police weren’t sure in the hours right after the crash.
A reporter specifically asked Newsham if the truck ramming was terrorism. He responded:
We have to look at that very closely. We don’t have a motive at this point.
Asked whether the officers were “targeted,” the chief said, “We don’t know.” You can watch the news conference here.
There were reports that representatives of the FBI were at the scene.
The tragedy in D.C. unfolded around 9 p.m. June 8 in the Adams Morgan section of the city, which is a popular area known for its busy nightlife. Two suspects were arrested at the scene, but police have not yet released their identities. Newsham said the suspects crashed their truck into an unoccupied vehicle and suffered non life-threatening injuries as a result.
Tiffany Roberts, a witness, wrote on Facebook, “While out for ice cream with friends, right in front of us, a guy in that truck drove through a crowd of people, walking, on bikes, and even cops and ended up crashing into a garbage truck.” However, the police chief said that no other pedestrians were injured.
A witness observed one of the bicycle officers being dragged about 30 feet, reported The Washington Post.
Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed in a news conference, “Three of our employees were struck by a vehicle…MPD is investigating exactly what happened.”
According to Newsham, who also spoke at the late night news conference, there was a “vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed in the Adams Morgan area” that “struck two of our bicycle patrol officers working in the area on duty at the time” and also struck the DPW worker.
Police Chief Newsham told reporters that “there was a weapon recovered from suspect” vehicle. However, he would not confirm or deny news reports that the weapon was an AK-47.
He said that police were in the process of questioning the two suspects the evening of June 8.
You can see videos and photos from the scene here: