WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Eight people were killed and eleven others were injured when a terrorist reportedly drove down a bike path near the West Side Highway Tuesday in Manhattan, New York City.
- The truck driver was identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, an Uzbekistan native, who came to the U.S. in 2010.
- Police found a note inside the truck claiming that the attack was made for the Islamic State terrorist group or ISIS.
Saipov was driving a Home Depot rental truck when it hopped a curb at West Houston Street to run down people on a bike path in lower Manhattan at around 3:05 p.m, law enforcement said.
He crashed the truck into a school bus, got out of the vehicle brandishing two imitation firearms and shouted “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God is Great”. An NYPD police officer shot the suspect in the abdomen and he was rushed to a nearby hospital.
Recovered from the scene were a pellet gun and a paintball gun.
Six people died at the scene and two died at the hospital. At least 11 people were seriously injured and rushed to the hospital, according to New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
“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,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Kobiljon Matkarov, a fellow Uzbekistan national said he knew Saipov from Florida, where the suspect used to live. Matkarov also mentioned that there was no indication that he would do such a violent crime. Public records indicate that Saipov has a commercial truck license.
Matkarov said Saipov was recently living in New Jersey and was driving for Uber. The transportation company confirmed Saipov had been a driver for Uber and was able to pass a background check.
An Uber spokesperson said, “We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victims and their families. We have reached out to law enforcement to provide our full assistance.”
Although the crime was being treated as an act of terrorism, New York authorities said it didn’t seem to be part of any larger plot.
President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that it “looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person” and “NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”
A follow-up tweet by the president read: “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”
Uzbekistan is not included in the list of countries under the government’s travel restrictions.
The intelligence community had no knowledge of any claim of responsibility from any group during that time, a U.S. counterterrorism official said on Tuesday afternoon.