In what the Department of Homeland Security is calling an, “apparent act of terrorism,” on Tuesday afternoon, the muslim driver of a rented pickup truck plowed into a New York City bike lane, killing 8 and injuring 11 more.
The 29-year-old driver, a devout Muslim, was shot by the police in the abdomen and was taken into custody after he had crashed the truck into a school bus and fled the scene of the terrorist attack.
New York City Police Commissioner James O‘Neill briefed reporters on the attack, saying, the frenzied driver started shrieking, “allahu akbar,” as he exited the crashed pickup truck.
O‘Neill also said police would not identify the driver at this time. The attack was a reminiscent of several similar attacks carried out in Europe last year, in which Muslims killed dozens by plowing trucks into public gatherings.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the suspect had appeared to have acted alone. He said, “There’s no evidence to suggest a wider plot or a wider scheme. These are the actions of one individual meant to cause pain and harm and probably death.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio also called the attack a “cowardly act of terrorism.”
The driver had entered the bike path in the lower Manhattan area at 3:05 p.m., O‘Neill said, adding that he was also armed with a paint-ball gun and a pellet gun. Two children and two adults were injured when the truck plowed into the school bus, he had said.
O‘Neill also said that the suspect was driving a rented Home Depot truck, but also said that police would not disclose at this time where the truck was rented from.
After the attack, mangled and flattened bicycles littered the bike path, which also runs parallel to the West Side Highway on the western edge of Manhattan along the Hudson River.
Among the eight people killed, six were pronounced dead at the scene and two more were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, O‘Neill said.
The Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said 11 survivors with serious but non-life-threatening injuries were also rushed to the hospitals.
U.S. President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders commented. Similar attacks in Europe last year had killed dozens of people.
On July 14, 2016, a suspect had driven a large truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing a total of 86 people and injuring hundreds more in an attack for which an Islamic State claimed responsibility.