A New York Police Department officer is being praised as a hero after he shot a man who drove a rented truck into pedestrians, bicyclists and a school bus, killing at least eight people in an apparent terror attack Wednesday in Lower Manhattan.
Officer Ryan Nash, 28, has been identified as the officer who shot and wounded the suspect, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov. The suspect was taken into custody and is in the hospital, but is expected to survive.
The incident remains under investigation.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Officer Ryan Nash Shot the Suspect in the Abdomen After He Got Out of His Truck
The incident began about 3 p.m. when the truck driver, identified as Sayfullo Saipov, drove onto the West Side Highway bicycle path at Houston Street and began driving southbound, “striking a number of pedestrians and bicyclists along the route,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference. “At Chambers Street, the truck collided with a school bus,” and the driver “exited the vehicle brandishing two handguns.
Officer Ryan Nash, who was in uniform, “confronted the subject and shot him in the abdomen.” Police said the suspect refused Nash’s demands to drop his gun. Police later determined the handguns were a paintbull gun and a pellet gun, O’Neill said. Snapchat videos show suspect after exiting the truck.
Nash was in the area responding to a call of an emotionally disturbed person outside Stuyvesant High School, the New York Daily News reports.
Eight people were killed in the attack, including six who were pronounced dead at the scene. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said 11 people, all with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, were transported to the hospital.
“NYPD is investigating this with our federal partners, with our state partners, there is going to be a very thorough investigation,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
2. He Works as an Officer in the City’s 1st Precinct & Has Been With the NYPD Since 2012
Officer Ryan Nash is assigned to the NYPD’s 1st Precinct, Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference. He was on patrol in uniform in the area when the incident occurred, O’Neill said.
According to Newsday, Nash is from Suffolk County, New York, on Long Island.
Nash has been a police officer since 2012, according to his Facebook page.
New York City councilman Joe Borelli tweeted, “Our hats off 2 Officer Ryan Nash & @NYPD1Pct who were 1st on scene, didn’t waiver, apprehended the (suspect), & saved lives. God bless the #NYPD.”
3. Nash Saved Lives by Stopping ‘the Carnage Moments After It Began,’ the NYPD Commissioner Says
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said Officer Nash’s quick actions saved lives.
“I want to commend the response of our NYPD officer who was on post near the location who stopped the carnage moments after it began,” O’Neill said. “Along with the work of the first responders, including the fire department and EMS personnel, surely helped save additional lives.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio also thanked Nash at the press conference.
“I want to thank everyone at the NYPD, all our first responders for their extraordinary efforts in the midst of this tragedy, starting with the officer who stopped this tragedy from continuing,” de Blasio said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “to the first responders, thank you, thank you, thank you for the job you do. You put your life on the line everyday. And you do it better than anyone else.”
President Donald Trump also praised Nash and his fellow officers.
“We offer our thanks to the first responders who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage,” Trump said in a statement.
4. The Suspect, a Truck Driver Originally From Uzbekistan, Was Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’
Before he was shot by Officer Ryan Nash, the suspect was shouting “Allahu Akbar,” an Arabic phrase that means “God is greater,” that is often yelled by terrorists during attacks, witnesses told police, according to CNN. Details of the attacker’s motive, including any ties to terror organizations, remain under investigation by the FBI and NYPD.
The attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, 29, came to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010. Public records show that he has lived in New Jersey, Ohio and Florida. He registered two commercial trucking businesses in Ohio and had several run-ins with police for traffic violations since 2012.
Saipov rented the truck in New Jersey on Monday, the day before the attack, authorities say.
You can read more about the suspect at the link below:
5. The Attack, the First Deadly Terrorist Act in NYC Since 9/11, Will Not ‘Break’ New Yorkers Spirit
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called it a “very painful” day in the city, but said New Yorkers will continue on.
“This was an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” the mayor said. “We know of 8 innocent people who have lost their lives and over a dozen more injured. We know that this action was intended to break our spirit. But we also know that the New Yorkers are strong, New Yorkers are resilient and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence and an act meant to intimidate us.”
De Blasio said the city has been tested “very near the site of today’s tragedy and New Yorkers did not give in in the face of these kind of actions. We will respond as we always do. We will be undeterred.”
The attack happened not far from the World Trade Center and is the first terrorist act with fatalities since 9/11.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those New Yorkers who we lost today,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “It reminds us how precious life is. They left the house this morning. They were enjoying the beautiful West Side of Manhattan on a beautiful fall day and they’re not going to be returning home. And that shock and that pain is going to be very real.”
Cuomo said there is no evidence of a wider plot or scheme.
“We will be vigilant, more police everywhere, it’s not because there’s any evidence of any ongoing threat or any additional threat, it is just out of vigilance and out of caution,” Cuomo said. “And the truth is New York is an international symbol of freedom and democracy. That’s what we are and we are proud of it. That also makes us a target for those people who oppose those concepts.
“And we’ve lived with this before, we’ve felt the pain before, we feel the pain today, but we go forward together. We go forward stronger than ever. We’re not going to let them win and if we change our lives, we contort ourselves to them, then they win and we lose,” Cuomo said.
President Donald Trump said in a statement, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today’s terrorist attack in New York City and their families. My Administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. … I will continue to follow developments closely.”
Trump also took to Twitter to talk about the attack, writing, “In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”
“We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!” Trump said. “My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!”