Eight people were killed and 11 others injured Tuesday afternoon in Lower Manhattan when a driver plowed a Home Depot pickup truck down a crowded bike path before he was shot by police.
Authorities say 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov was waving around a pellet gun and a paintball gun and yelling “Allahu akbar” when an officer shot him in the stomach, according to the New York Times.
“Based on information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference.
Police say a note found in the truck claimed that the suspect acted in the name of ISIS.
It started after 3 p.m. local time. The truck got on the West Side Highway bike path near Houston Street and struck several cyclists and pedestrians over a nearly mile-long stretch. Officials say six people were pronounced dead at the scene. The two others were pronounced dead at nearby hospitals.
The truck stopped when it rammed into a school bus near Chambers and West Streets by Stuyvesant High School. Two adults and two students on board were injured in that collision. That’s when the suspect got out of the pickup and started waving around a pellet gun and paintball gun. He yelled “Allahu akbar,” which means “God is great” in Arabic.
“We heard people screaming, ‘gun’ ‘shooter’ and ‘run away,’” said 14-year-old Sirus Minovi, a freshman at Stuyvesant. “We thought it was a Halloween prank.”
An officer shot the suspect in the abdomen, and he underwent surgery for his injuries Tuesday evening. “He was Johnny-on-the-spot and he takes the guy down,” a city official said of the officer.
The attack ended just five blocks north of the World Trade Center and is being called the deadliest terror attack on New York City since 9/11. “CAIR condemns today’s horrific and cowardly attack in Manhattan and offers sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured,” said the Council on American-Islamic Relations in a statement.
Federal authorities are leading an investigation into the attack. Saipov came to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2010 and had a green card, according to reports. He had lived in Paterson, New Jersey and Tampa, Florida.
“In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person,” wrote President Donald Trump on Twitter. “Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”