At least eight people were killed and about a dozen injured in a terror attack in lower Manhattan after a suspect driving a rental Home Depot truck rammed into people on a bike path and the suspect then emerged from the vehicle brandishing paintball and pellet guns. “City officials believe this incident was deliberate and a possible act of terrorism,” reported ABC7. Be forewarned that some of the videos and photos below are graphic.
NBC News wrote on Twitter, “Multiple people are dead and several are injured following an incident in lower Manhattan, per a senior New York City official.” The suspect was identified in multiple news reports as Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek national in the U.S. for only a few years. In a press conference, New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio called the truck ramming an “act of terror” and said New Yorkers would remain undeterred. Saipov, who came to the United States in 2010, left a note saying he committed the attack for ISIS, according to CNN.
CNN also reported that the FBI and NYPD are investigating the incident as a “terrorism attack.” According to CNN, witnesses said the driver of the truck was shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great in Arabic) during the attack. The FBI has taken over as the lead investigating agency, reported CNN.
One graphic video showed crumpled bikes and people lying on the pavement in the attack’s aftermath. You can view it below, but be aware that it’s disturbing. Fox News reported that the incident occurred near the World Trade Center memorial, sparking additional fears in lower Manhattan.
The New York Police Department said the suspect had an imitation firearm and was shot by the police, although it appears the suspect survived that shooting. “The vehicle struck multiple people on the path. There are several fatalities and numerous people injured,” the NYPD wrote. “The vehicle continued south striking another vehicle. The suspect exited the vehicle displaying imitation firearms & was shot by NYPD. The suspect is in custody. This is preliminary, more information to follow.” In a later news conference, the police commissioner said the suspect hurtled the truck into people on a busy bike path before crashing into a school bus and leaping out with the pellet and paint guns; a heroic police officer then shot him, wounding him in the abdomen.
“A witness told ABC’s New York station WABC that a truck hit multiple people on the bike path on the West Side Highway. The witness added that the truck crashed into a school bus and the driver got out and opened fire,” ABC News reported of the fast unfolding incident on October 31. However, it now appears that the gunfire people heard was from the police officer who stopped the attack from being even worse.
One photo did show a body covered with a white sheet. People Magazine reported that at least two people are dead, but casualty counts grew to eight with at least 11 injured. The attack occurred in a heavily trafficked areas of lower Manhattan with a lot of pedestrians and bicyclists in the shadow of the World Trade Center memorial site.
“The New York City Police Department is responding to reports of a shooting in Lower Manhattan Tuesday, a few blocks from the World Trade Center Memorial,” Fox reported. The news of a shooting – which, again, turned out to be the officer shooting the suspect after a car ramming attack, sent the city into a panic. It was the worst terrorist attack in New York since September 11, 2001.
“A truck rammed into people along a bike path along the Hudson River, according to two police sources,” People Magazine reported. Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote on Twitter that he had been briefed and was headed to the scene of the incident. He later participated in a press conference with police officials. Here’s a closer view of the truck:
The New York Police Department tweeted earlier, “Currently there is one person in custody. No others outstanding. All information is preliminary as the investigation is ongoing.” Police also wrote, “Due to police activity, avoid the area of Chambers Street/West St. One person is in custody. Expect many emergency personnel in the area.” Saipov was from Tampa, Florida but online records showed a minor traffic history in other states.
Videos showed a large police response after reports of shots being fired. The scene of a truck ramming into pedestrians obviously brings to mind ISIS-fueled attacks in Europe in which a vehicle was the modus operandi. Whether Saipov was linked to ISIS in any fashion is not yet clear.
Photos from the scene showed what people were describing as a “white truck” that had rammed into people in lower Manhattan. The shooting and ramming incident has created widespread panic in Lower Manhattan on Halloween Day. The incident occurred at 3:10 p.m. local time at West Street and Chambers Street. Singer Josh Groban tweeted, “Oh my God I just heart gun shots and ran with my dog. Downtown. F***.”
According to the BBC, “Unconfirmed reports on social media suggest a man drove at cyclists in a cycling lane.” You can read more details about the incident here: