Terror in N.Y.C.: 8 Dead After Truck Rams into People and School Bus Close to World Trade Center
What We Know Now:
• Eight people were killed and at least 11 were injured when a truck plowed into pedestrians and then a hit school bus on a bike path Tuesday afternoon, very close to the World Trade Center memorial site.
• Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident was an “act of terror.”
• President Donald Trump tweeted that the terror attack was done by ISIS.
• The suspect has been identified as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, from Tampa, Florida. He drove a rented Home Depot truck and upon exiting, shouted, “Allahu Akbar.” He was non-fatally shot by police in the stomach and is currently in custody at the hospital.
• Despite earlier reports of an active shooter, the suspect only had a paintball gun and a pellet gun when he exited the truck.
• Officials say there’s no evidence that the attack was part of a larger plot.
Eight people are dead and 11 are injured after a truck rammed into people on a bike path before slamming into a school bus several blocks from the World Trade Center memorial in New York City on Tuesday afternoon, New York officials announced.
One person is in custody and no suspects are outstanding, according to the NYPD. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared the incident an “act of terror” at a Tuesday press conference.
The suspect is Sayfullo Saipov, 29, from Tampa, Florida, NYPD sources confirm to PEOPLE. Saipov was employed by Uber after passing the company’s background check. “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,” Uber says in a statement to PEOPLE.
One police source says the suspect shouted “Allahu Akbar,” and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the suspect made a statement when he exited his vehicle.
Despite earlier reports of an active shooter, the driver of the truck only had a paintball gun and a pellet gun, O’Neill said. NYPD officers shot and wounded him after he emerged from the truck, a police source says. The suspect is in the hospital and is under heavy surveillance, the sources say.
Six people, all males, died at the scene while two other victims were pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital with traumatic injuries.
Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders confirmed on Twitter that three Belgians were also injured and are currently in the operating room. A Belgian woman was confirmed dead.
Argentina’s foreign minister said the dead included Argentine citizens, according to the Associated Press. Names of the five victims — Hernán Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damián Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi — were released by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of the Argentine Republic on Twitter.
Two children were among the injured, the sources say, adding that the suspect rammed into a school bus.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at the press conference, “There is no evidence at this point to suggest a wider plot, or a wider scheme. This was the action of one individual who meant to cause harm and pain and terror, and likely death.”
Cuomo added, “There is no evidence of an additional threat or an ongoing threat.”
According to the NYPD, the vehicle entered the West. St. pedestrian bike path a few blocks north of Chambers Street and struck multiple people along the path.
The vehicle was a Home Depot rental truck, Home Depot confirms to PEOPLE. Home Depot did not release information regarding who rented the vehicle, and spokesperson Matt Harrigan tells PEOPLE the business is cooperating with authorities.
An official at Stuyvesant High School said the school bus belonged to the school. Students inside the bus “might be a little hurt, but no one is dead.”
“We know very little about what is going on, except we can’t leave.”
Students have not been allowed to leave the school.
At the press conference, de Blasio said, “New Yorkers do not give in in the face of these kinds of actions. We will respond as we always do. We will be undeterred.”
De Blasio thanked “the first responders who came to the aide of the injured today, especially the officer who stopped this carnage from happening further.
Eyewitnesses Recount Horror of Scene
A witness named Eugene spoke with ABC 7 by phone, describing the horrifying scene he saw after leaving work at Pier 26.
“I heard something behind me, and when I turned, I saw a truck, a pickup truck, a white pickup truck, and he ran over two guys, and unfortunately, I went up to the bodies, and they had passed away,” he said. “He kept going down on the bike path on West Street, down by the park. And then he hit a few cars, and then when I heard the cars get hit, I looked that way, and I heard gunshots. And then everybody started running.”
Eugene Duffy, a chef, told CNN he heard people screaming before he realized what was happening, “I see a white pick up truck a couple more blocks down in the bike path so automatically I know something is wrong,” he said. “As I go down more to where the girl was screaming I see two guys laying there and they have tire tracks across their body.”