Earlier today, news broke of several shots tearing through downtown New York City. It now appears that our worst fears may well be right. Officials are reportedly investigating the incident as a terrorist attack as eight people are reported dead with nine others injured after a driver mowed down unsuspecting cyclists.
At least six people are dead after a driver barreled into a bike path and crashed a rental pickup truck into a crowd in Lower Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” law enforcement sources tell Fox News and the Associated Press.
Another nine people were injured, authorities said. Police tweeted that one person has been taken into custody and “no others outstanding.”
FBI officials confirmed to Fox News that they have agents responding to the situation “with NYPD.” A bomb squad is also on scene examining a vehicle.
Police and witnesses said a motorist drove onto a busy bike path and hit several people, then got out of his vehicle screaming and firing what appeared to be a gun.
The Hill tweeted a short time ago that the incident is being investigated as a terrorist attack, information later confirmed at a press conference with NY Governor Andrew Cuomo.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 31, 2017
From the report:
After striking several people on the bicycle path, a suspect exited the vehicle displaying “imitation firearms,” the New York Police Department wrote on Twitter. Police shot the suspect.
One suspect has been taken into custody in connection with the matter, police said.
The incident is currently being investigated as a terrorist attack, according to media reports.
Here’s footage from WNBC of the suspect running with what looks like a weapon in his hand.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 31, 2017
It doesn’t appear the suspect possessed anything like a real firearm, otherwise, he wouldn’t have had a BB gun or a paintball gun, but it’s important to note that information is extremely fluid at this point, and early reports often turn out to be completely unreliable.
It’s also possible that we’ll see the number of casualties increase as the night goes on. Already we’re seeing that, as even recent stories quoted here are operating on their being six dead, while current reports are that eight have died.
NBC is reporting 8 people confirmed dead in what is believed to be a terrorist attack in Manhattan
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) October 31, 2017
Those numbers may well still increase, unfortunately.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, at a press conference just before 5:30 Eastern time, assured New Yorkers that there doesn’t appear to be a broader plot. He warned residents that while they will see an increased police presence, that presence is not indicative of a known threat, only “vigilance.”
At the same press conference, it was revealed that the truck in question was a Home Depot rental truck that also collided with several vehicles, including a school bus. He also reportedly yelled “Allah Ackbar,” the hallmark of modern Islamic terrorism.
Officials will be updating the media regularly on new information, but this attack marks deadly bookends to the month of October, but as with this month’s earlier attack, there are still far more questions than answers.
As things currently stand, speculation is less than pointless as we simply don’t know enough as this happened just around 3:00 this afternoon. We will continue to pass along updated information as we learn it.
UPDATE (6:47): The attacker has apparently been identified.
The man taken into custody by the New York Police Department after Tuesday’s terror attack that killed at least eight is 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov of Tampa, Florida, according to an ABC News report.
Police stopped Saipov in Mount Holly Springs Borough, Pennsylvania, just south of Carlisle, in March 2015 and he gave police a Paterson, New Jersey address, according to court records. He also was stopped in 2012 in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, just east of Hershey, and also listed a Paterson address.
Saipov is an Uzbek national and came to the U.S. in 2010, NBC News reported.
Further, NYC officials have declared that the previously planned Halloween parade would take place despite the attack, although it will be with a much heightened police presence.