NYC Mayor: Eight Dead After Driver Rams Into People On Bike Path

Martin Speechley/New York City Police Department

Eight people were killed and more than a dozen injured on Tuesday after a driver allegedly rammed a rental pickup truck into people on a bike path in lower Manhattan, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. The city’s police commissioner said the incident was being investigated as an act of terrorism.

The New York City P0lice Department said that the the only suspect involved in the incident was in their custody, and that there was no longer an immediate threat to New Yorkers.

“We, at this moment, based on the information we have, we know of eight innocent people who have lost their lives and over a dozen more injured,” de Blasio said at a press conference following the incident Tuesday.

“At 3:05 p.m., a male driving a rented Home Depot pickup truck entered the West Side Highway bicycle path at Houston Street, began driving southbound, striking a number of pedestrians and bicyclists along the route,” NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said at the press conference.

“At Chambers Street, the truck collided with a school bus, injuring two adults and two children,” he continued. “After the collision, the driver of the truck, a 29-year-old male, exited the vehicle brandishing two handguns. A uniformed police officer assigned to the First Precinct confronted the subject and shot him in the abdomen. The subject was wounded and transported to a local hospital. A paint ball gun and pellet gun were recovered.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had earlier told reporters that President Donald Trump “has been briefed on the incident in NYC by [Chief of Staff John] Kelly and will be continually updated as more details are known. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.” Trump tweeted about the incident during the press conference:

CNN and WNBC reported that the suspect screamed “Allahu Akbar” during the incident. O’Neill refused to respond specifically to one reporter’s question about those reports at the press conference, but said that the suspect “did make a statement when he exited the vehicle.” The same reporter had also asked O’Neill what led law enforcement to label the incident a terrorist attack.

“If you just look at the M.O. of the attack, that’s consistent with what’s been going on,” O’Neill said. “So that, along with the statement, has enabled us to label this a terrorist event.”

CNN and MSNBC reported that the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force had joined the case. O’Neill said the investigation was “being conducted jointly with the NYPD and the FBI.”

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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