UPDATE: Police find handwritten note in attacker’s truck
NEW YORK — The Latest on a vehicle driving onto a bike path near the World Trade Center site and memorial (all times local):
Two law enforcement officials say a note was recovered inside the truck that barreled down a bike path near the World Trade Center, killing eight people.
One official says the note was hand-written in a foreign language, possibly Arabic. The contents are being investigated, but the officials say the document supported the belief the act was terrorism.
The officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Police say the truck’s driver turned onto the bike path Tuesday afternoon, striking several people before plowing into a school bus. Officials say he got out of the truck waving a pellet gun and a paint gun and was shot by a police officer. He’s in critical condition after surgery.
Police investigating a rented Home Depot truck’s deadly rampage down a bike path near New York’s World Trade Center have surrounded a white Toyota minivan with Florida plates parked in a New Jersey Home Depot lot.
The van is parked near the company’s rental trucks. Officials tell The Associated Press the man suspected of killing eight people and injuring 11 more on the bike path rented a truck from a Home Depot in New Jersey about an hour before Tuesday’s attack.
The man was shot by a police officer and is in custody in critical condition.
The Passaic (puh-SAY’-ihk) Home Depot remains open. The minivan is cordoned off.
Home Depot spokesman Matthew Harrigan says the company is “fully cooperating” with law enforcement. He says the company requires a driver’s license, insurance information and a credit card deposit to rent a truck.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH’-moh) has increased security at airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems around the state following a vehicle attack on a bike path near the World Trade Center.
The Democratic governor has directed the lights on the spire of 1 World Trade Center be lit in red, white and blue in honor of freedom and democracy. He says additional security personnel are being deployed to high-density areas and large public gatherings.
Eight people were killed and 11 were injured when a man drove a rented truck down a bike path Tuesday afternoon. Police say they shot and wounded the attacker but he’s expected to survive.
A U.S. official familiar with the investigation into what happened says the man is from Uzbekistan and came to the U.S. in 2010. Another official says the man has a Florida license but may have been staying in New Jersey.
NEW YORK — A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial Tuesday, killing at least eight and injuring 11 others in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror.”
The driver was shot in the abdomen by police and taken into custody after jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be a fake gun in each hand and shouting “Allahu Akbar!,” or “God is great” in Arabic, officials said. His condition was not immediately released.
Two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity identified the attacker as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov. He has a Florida driver’s license but may have been staying in New Jersey. The officials gave no other details on his background.
The driver barreled along the bike path for the equivalent of about 14 blocks, or around eight-tenths of a mile, before slamming into a small yellow school bus. The mayhem and the burst of police gunfire set off panic in the neighborhood and left the pavement strewn with mangled bicycles and bodies that were soon covered with sheets.
“I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” said Chen Yi, an Uber driver.
Eugene Duffy, a chef at a waterfront restaurant, said, “So many police came and they didn’t know what was happening. People were screaming. Females were screaming at the top of their lungs.”
Police closed off streets across the western edge of lower Manhattan along the Hudson River, and officers rushed into the neighborhood just as people were preparing for Halloween festivities, including the big annual parade through Greenwich Village.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
New York and other cities around the globe have been on high alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. The Islamic State has been exhorting its followers to mow down people, and England, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks in recent months and years.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.
New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill said a statement the driver made as he got out of the truck and the method of attack led police to conclude it was a terrorist act.
A law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity said witnesses told police the attacker yelled, “Allahu akbar!” as he got out of the truck.
On Twitter, President Donald Trump called it “another attack by a very sick and deranged person” and declared, “NOT IN THE U.S.A.”
While police did not specifically blame the Islamic State for the New York bloodshed, Trump railed against the extremist group, tweeting, “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”
Police said the vehicle, a rented Home Depot truck, entered the bike path at about 3 p.m. on West Street a few blocks from the new World Trade Center — the site of the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history. The truck then turned at Chambers Street, hitting the school bus and injuring two adults and two children.
In addition to those killed, 11 people were seriously injured, police said.
A paintball gun and a pellet gun were found at the scene, police said. At least two covered-over bodies could be seen lying on the path, and the front end of the pickup was smashed in, as was the side of the school bus.
Tom Gay, a school photographer, heard people saying there was an accident and went down to West Street, where a woman came around the corner shouting, “He has a gun! He has a gun!”
Gay said he stuck his head around the corner and saw a slender man in a blue track suit running on West Street holding a gun. He said there was a heavyset man pursuing him.
He said he heard five or six shots, and the man in the tracksuit fell to the ground, gun still raised in the air. He said a man came over and kicked the gun out of his hand.
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