UPDATED: A man in a pickup truck struck and killed eight people, injuring more than a dozen others, on Tuesday afternoon in Lower Manhattan, near the World Trade Center, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“Based on information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians,” de Blasio said.
“We have been tested before as a city very near the site of today’s tragedy. And New Yorkers did not give in in the face of these kinds of actions. We’ll respond as we always do. We will be undeterred,” he added.
“We know that this action was intended to break our spirit. But we also know New Yorkers are strong, New Yorkers are resilient, and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence and an act meant to intimidate us,” de Blasio said.
The motorist headed the wrong way down on a bike path for 20 blocks when he rammed his vehicle into pedestrians before colliding with a school bus from Stuyvesant High School. The Home Depot rental came to a stop near Chambers and West Streets close to the World Trade Center. The driver, 29, then jumped out screaming Allahu Akbar (“God is great” in Arabic) with “imitation firearms” in hand and was shot by police officers in the abdomen.
Police said the suspect is in custody and is being taken to the hospital for treatment.
“Currently there is one person in custody. No others outstanding. All information is preliminary as the investigation is ongoing,” the New York Police Department said in a tweet.
The incident is being investigated as a case of terrorism.
“In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.,” President Donald Trump tweeted.
Uber driver Chen Yi witnessed the truck plowing into multiple people on the bike path. He then heard seven to eight shots. Yi saw police pointing a gun at a man kneeling on the ground.
“I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” Yi told the Associated Press.
Singer Josh Groban tweeted that he was roughly half a block away from the incident, writing that his dog pulled him into a park rather than continuing down the street to his normal coffee shop.