8 dead in New York City truck attack which the mayor calls an act of terror
A man who has been identified as 29 year old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, deliberately drove a rented truck onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, killing eight people and seriously injuring 11 others.
Four people on board a school bus that he hit were injured, CBS New York reports. Officials said Tuesday they were two adults and two children.
He then got out of the vehicle and ran out, fortunately, a police officer shot him, but only in the leg and he was immediately taken into custody. CBS senior investigative producer Pat Milton said the suspect yelled “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” when he exited the truck.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. He called it “a very painful day in our city.”
“Today there was a loss of innocent life in lower Manhattan,” NYPD commissioner James O’Neill said at a Tuesday press conference.
According to reports, Saipov has lived in Tampa, Florida, and New Jersey. He came to the U.S. in 2010 from Uzbekistan with a Greencard.
Police say that he was most recently living in Patterson, New Jersey. Investigators are now combing a Home Depot in Passaic, New Jersey, where he is believed to have picked up the truck and may have left his own vehicle.
Kobiljon Matkarov, 37, of Maimisburg, Ohio, said that he met Saipov five years ago, and they bonded over their shared Uzbek heritage.
‘He is very good guy, he is very friendly… he is like little brother… he look at me like big brother’.
He said Saipov had been working as an Uber driver in New Jersey this summer, and that the alleged terrorist had driven him, his wife and their five children to New York’s JFK airport during a recent trip to their home country.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the attack appeared to be a “lone wolf” incident with no apparent link to a wider terrorist plot. Cuomo, O’Neill and de Blasio praised the work of the officer who they said stopped the assailant before more people were hurt.
The incident occurred at West Street and Chambers Street at 3:05 p.m.
The vehicle entered the pedestrian/bike path at Houston St., a few blocks north of Chambers Street on Manhattan’s west side, drove down the bike path for about four blocks, striking cyclists and pedestrians before veering back into traffic lanes and striking a school bus and another vehicle. Before he was finally stopped.
Police say Arabic handwritten notes pedlging allehgance to ISIS were found in his home.
Both the FBI and the NYPD are “digging” into Saipov’s background, according to reports.
After he was apprehended and handcuffed, they found a knife in a sheath in a belt and 2 fake guns on him.