Investigators labored by way of the night time to find out what led a truck driver to plow down individuals on a riverfront bike path in New York Metropolis close to the World Commerce Heart, brandishing air weapons and yelling “God is nice” in Arabic as his lethal route of terror ended with a crash, authorities stated.
Eight individuals had been killed and 11 severely injured in a Halloween afternoon assault that the mayor referred to as “a very cowardly act of terror.” The motive force — recognized by officers as an immigrant from Uzbekistan — was in important situation however anticipated to outlive after a police officer shot him within the stomach.
A roughly two-mile stretch of freeway in downtown Manhattan was shut down for the investigation. Authorities additionally converged on a New Jersey residence and a van in a parking zone at a New Jersey Dwelling Depot retailer. Authorities had been scrutinizing a word discovered contained in the attacker’s rented truck, in line with two regulation enforcement officers who weren’t approved to debate the continuing investigation and spoke on the situation of anonymity.
Police and the FBI urged members of the general public to provide them any pictures or video that might assist. The assault echoed a technique that the Islamic State group has been suggesting to its followers. Whereas police didn’t particularly blame any group for the strike, President Donald Trump railed towards the Islamic State and declared “sufficient!” and “NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”
WATCH: Trump tweets about lethal New York Metropolis truck assault
The victims mirrored a metropolis that could be a melting pot and a magnet for guests: One of many useless was from Belgium. 5 had been from Argentina and had been celebrating the 30th anniversary of a college commencement, in line with officers in these international locations. The injured included college students and staffers on a college bus that the motive force rammed.
“This was an act of terror, and a very cowardly act of terror aimed toward harmless civilians, aimed toward individuals going about their lives who had no concept what was about to hit them,” stated Mayor Invoice de Blasio, a Democrat.
WATCH: College students noticed our bodies from classroom throughout New York Metropolis truck incident
Officers who weren’t approved to debate the investigation and spoke on the situation of anonymity recognized the slight, bearded attacker as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old who got here to the U.S. legally in 2010. He has a Florida driver’s license however could have been staying in New Jersey, they stated.
Data present Saipov was a business truck driver who fashioned a pair of companies in Ohio. He had additionally pushed for Uber, the ride-hailing firm stated. An Ohio marriage license exhibits truck driver with one in every of Saipov’s addresses and his title, spelled barely otherwise, married a fellow Uzbek in 2013.
Throughout his time in Fort Myers, Florida, a number of years in the past, Saipov was “an excellent particular person,” an acquaintance, Kobiljon Matkarov, instructed The New York Occasions.
“He preferred the U.S. He appeared very fortunate, and on a regular basis, he was completely happy and speaking like all the pieces is OK. He didn’t look like a terrorist, however I didn’t know him from the within,” Matkarov stated. He stated Saipov later moved to New Jersey and started driving for Uber. San Francisco-based Uber stated he began over six months in the past.
Police stated the attacker rented the truck at about 2 p.m. at a New Jersey Dwelling Depot after which went into New York Metropolis, getting into the bike path about an hour later and dashing towards the World Commerce Heart, the location of the deadliest terror assault in U.S. historical past.
He barreled alongside the bike path within the truck for the equal of about 14 blocks, or round eight-tenths of a mile, earlier than slamming right into a small yellow college bus.
WATCH: Witness says he noticed truck driving down New York Metropolis bike path
“An individual hopped out of the automobile with two weapons and began yelling and screaming,” stated a 12-year-old scholar who had simply left a close-by college. “They had been yelling ‘Allahu Akbar.’”
The coed, whose mom requested that his title be withheld, stated he ran again into the varsity, the place college students cried and huddled in a nook.
Video shot by bystanders confirmed Saipov strolling by way of site visitors wielding what appeared like two handguns, however which police later stated had been a paintball gun and a pellet gun. A police officer shot Saipov when he wouldn’t drop the weapons, police stated.
The mayhem set off panic within the neighborhood and left the pavement strewn with mangled bicycles and our bodies that had been quickly coated with sheets.
“I noticed lots of blood over there. Lots of people on the bottom,” stated Chen Yi, an Uber driver.
The word contained in the truck was handwritten in a international language, in line with one of many two regulation enforcement officers who spoke in regards to the doc. Each stated its contents had been being investigated however supported the idea the act was terrorism.
WATCH: Witness says New York Metropolis driver who hit a number of individuals with truck was ‘screaming on the street’
A police officer stands close to a car, left, inside a fringe within the parking zone of a Dwelling Depot retailer, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in Passaic, N.J. (AP Picture/Julio Cortez)
Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev despatched his condolences to the president and the households of the victims on Wednesday, and provided his nation’s help in investigating the assault.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, referred to as Tuesday’s carnage a “lone wolf” assault and stated there was no proof to recommend it was a part of a wider plot.
New York and different cities across the globe have been on excessive alert towards assaults by extremists in automobiles. England, France and Germany have seen lethal car assaults previously yr or so.