Officer Who Stopped N.Y.C. Truck Attack Suspect Speaks Out: 'We Were Just Doing Our Job'
Officer Ryan Nash is credited with stopping the New York City truck attack suspect by shooting him in the stomach
The New York City police officer credited with stopping Tuesday’s deadly truck attack by shooting the suspected assailant in the abdomen says he was simply doing what other officers would have.
“Although I feel that we were just doing our job, like thousands of officers do every day, I understand the importance of yesterday’s events and the role we played,” Officer Ryan Nash said at a Wednesday news conference, “and I am grateful for the recognition we have received.”
Nash, who is assigned to Lower Manhattan’s First Precinct, was reportedly near the scene of the attack on Tuesday afternoon because he and other officers were responding to a call at a local high school about a possibly suicidal student.
They then responded to the nearby truck rampage, which began shortly after 3 p.m. Authorities have described the violence, which killed eight and injured at least 11 others, as an act of terrorism.
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According to authorities, a pickup truck slammed into a school bus several blocks from the World Trade Center memorial after plowing down people on a bike path along the Hudson River.
Nash, 28, shot the suspected driver, Sayfullo Saipov, in the stomach after Saipov got out of the Home Depot truck he had allegedly rented for the attack, authorities have said.
At Wednesday’s news conference, N.Y.C. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had spoken to Nash, whom he described as modest.
“He is a good young man; he was very humble about what he did, but what he did was extraordinary,” de Blasio told reporters, “and it gave people such faith and such appreciation in our police force.”
William J. Bratton, the former N.Y.C. police commissioner, also hailed Nash’s work, writing on Twitter that he was courageous and quick-thinking.
“To NYPD Officer Ryan Nash — thank you for your bravery & quick action in stopping yesterday’s terrorist attack. Truly one of New York’s Finest,” Bratton wrote.
The suspect was allegedly wielding two apparent weapons after exiting his vehicle, though police later said he was carrying a pellet gun and a paintball gun.
The New York Times reports that Nash fired nine shots.
Nash, from Medford, Long Island, was taken to Bellevue Hospital for ringing in his ears, CBS New York reports.
He joined the N.Y.C Police Department in July 2012, according to the station.
His father, Richard, praised his son in a recent interview with PEOPLE: “I’m very proud of him.”