8 dead after truck plows into people in New York City in ‘cowardly act of terror’: Mayor

Sayfullo Saipov (Photo: ABC News)

(ABC News/WTNH) — A man driving a rental truck plowed into pedestrians and cyclists on a jogging and bike path in lower Manhattan in New York City Tuesday afternoon, killing at least eight people and injuring many others in what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called a “cowardly act of terror.”

sayfullo saipov nyc attack 8 dead after truck plows into people in New York City in cowardly act of terror: Mayor
Sayfullo Saipov (Photo: ABC News)

The sprawling crime scene runs several blocks along the West Side Highway, a few blocks away from One World Trade Center.

“Everybody started running,” one witness said.

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NYPD officers respond after reports of multiple people hit by a truck after it plowed through a bike path in lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017 in New York City. According to reports up to six people may have been killed. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

A suspect was apprehended at the scene. Multiple law enforcement officials told ABC News that the suspect in custody was identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov of Tampa, Florida.

The suspect is reported to have screamed “Allah Akbar” after the crash, and that is a key reason authorities are looking at terrorism as a possible motive, sources said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there was no evidence of a wider, ongoing threat but he said more police would be monitoring the streets on Halloween night. The city’s annual Halloween parade in the West Village, which is near the crime scene, will still take place tonight, officials said.

 

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Police gather at the scene after reports of multiple people injured after a truck plowed through a bike path in lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017 in New York City. Officials are reporting up to 6 dead and 11 people have been injured. (Photo by Andy Kiss/Getty Images)

The deadly incident began at about 3:05 p.m., when the vehicle — a Home Depot rental truck, according to the company — entered the West Street pedestrian and bike path north of Chambers Street, hitting multiple people on the path, leaving some dead and numerous people injured, New York City police said.

At Chambers Street, the truck collided with a school bus, injuring two adults and two children, police said.

After the collision, the truck driver exited the vehicle brandishing what appeared to be two handguns, police said. A uniformed police officer confronted the suspect and shot him in the abdomen, police said.

gettyimages 868729716 8 dead after truck plows into people in New York City in cowardly act of terror: Mayor
NYPD officers respond after reports of multiple people hit by a truck after it plowed through a bike path in lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017 in New York City. According to reports up to six people may have been killed. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

ABC News has learned the suspect was wounded and transported to Bellevue Hospital. He is out of surgery.

A paintball gun and a pellet gun were recovered at the scene, police said.

gettyimages 868722088 8 dead after truck plows into people in New York City in cowardly act of terror: Mayor
Police gather at the scene after reports of multiple people injured after a truck plowed through a bike path in lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kiss/Getty Images)

Six of the deceased victims were pronounced dead at the scene; two more died at a nearby hospital. Police said 11 were wounded with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A witness told ABC’s New York station WABC that after the truck hit multiple people on the bike path, it crashed into a school bus at Chambers and West streets, near Stuyvesant High School.

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Police gather at the scene after reports of multiple people injured after a truck plowed through a bike path in lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kiss/Getty Images)

“Everybody started running,” the witness said. “… Everything was happening so fast.”

The witness added of the driver, “He kept going all the way down full speed.”

“Thank God the trick-or-treaters weren’t out yet,” the witness later said.

Video from the scene showed mangled bicycles strewn across the bike path.

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Police gather at the scene after reports of multiple people injured after a truck plowed through a bike path in lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kiss/Getty Images)

Israel Ase, who witnessed the aftermath, told ABC News, “I saw broken bikes and people laying on the ground and others waving down the traffic. … I thought it was an accident.”

“I called 911,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything more to help. I’m still in shock.”

The FBI responded to the incident.

President Donald Trump has been briefed, according to a White House spokesperson.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray have also been briefed.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy also released a statement, saying in part:

We pray for those who lost their lives, offer our deepest sympathies to their families and friends, and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery for those injured…Today’s attack in New York City is a painful reminder that we must always be vigilant and aware of our surroundings. We urge all Connecticut residents if you see something suspicious in your daily travels – say something.”

ABC News has learned that Saipov was an Uber driver.

“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,” an Uber spokesperson stated.

The Justice Department said in a statement Tuesday night that it “will work with its partners in law enforcement and the intelligence community to thoroughly investigate this matter. Our deepest condolences go out to the victims of this vicious terrorist attack and our hearts are with all the people of New York.”

This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.

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