At least eight people are reported dead and more than a dozen injured after a man in a rented pickup truck drove twenty blocks down the bike lane along the West Side Highway in downtown Manhattan. After crashing the truck, the driver reportedly exited with fake guns drawn, before being shot in the abdomen by the NYPD. According to law enforcement, the incident is being investigated as an “act of terror”; when he emerged from the truck, the driver reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is Good.”
Student was atop the Stuyvesant High School foot bridge and snapped this photo appearing to show the suspect gun in hand pic.twitter.com/JHMwBxv02L
— myles miller (@MylesMill) October 31, 2017
“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 after the attack. The driver, identified by police as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, who came to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010, is being treated at a nearby hospital for his injuries. At least fifteen people are being treated for their injuries, though that number may rise.
The scene on the west side of Lower Manhattan was chaos after the incident. Victims’ bodies and mangled bicycles littered the street, and hundreds of police and ATF, bomb squad, and counterterrorism officials were on the scene. Stuyvesant High School, which was just letting out for the day when the bloodshed unfolded around 3:15 p.m., was placed on lockdown.
A portion of the West Side Highway stretching from Soho south toward the World Trade Center was shut down. The annual Village Halloween Parade will proceed with increased security.
“We have been tested before as a city,” said de Blasio. “New Yorkers do not give in in the face of these kinds of actions. We will respond as we always do. We will be undeterred.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.