The suspect was identified by two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. He’s from Uzbekistan in Central Asia but had been living in the US since 2010, sources said.
A senior law enforcement officer told CNN a note, written in English, was found in the truck that said the attack, which unfolded around 3 p.m. on Halloween, was done in the name of ISIS.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them.”
- Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter that five Argentine citizens were killed: Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi.
- A Belgian national also was a victim of the attack, Didier Reynders, deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister for Belgium, said on Twitter.
- Sayfullo Saipov, who was shot by police, is out of surgery, a law enforcement source told CNN. Officers were able to talk to him before the surgery, the source said. It is not known if he told them anything.
- He most recently lived in New Jersey, a law enforcement source said. Neighbors said he did recently live in Paterson, not far from New York, at least part time.
- Saipov was an Uber driver, he began driving for the company around six months ago in New Jersey, Uber told CNN. He had passed a background but has now been removed from the app.
- The man rented the truck in New Jersey on Tuesday, a person briefed on the investigation told CNN.
- President Donald Trump tweeted that the incident “looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person.” In a later tweet, he wrote, “My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!”
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed One World Trade Center to be lit in red, white and blue in honor of freedom and democracy, his office said.
Rented truck used
The incident is being investigated as terrorism, officials said. Witnesses reported the suspect was yelling “Allahu Akbar,” according to four law enforcement sources. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is taking over the lead of the investigation.
Vehicles have been used as weapons in a number of terrorist attacks
in recent years, including in deadly incidents in London and Nice, France.
The suspect, driving in a Home Depot rental truck, hopped a curb at West Houston Street
and drove south on the bike path on the west side of West Side Highway in lower Manhattan for several blocks, officials said.
After crashing the truck into a school bus, the suspect exited the vehicle while displaying imitation firearms and was shot in the abdomen by a police officer, according to the NYPD.
A pellet gun and a paintball gun were recovered from the scene, officials said.
Just after the incident, news footage showed several mangled bicycles on the popular bike path as medics tended to the wounded in the background.
Five of those killed were Argentinians, a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of graduates of the Polytechnic School in their hometown, the country’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
A spokesman for Home Depot confirmed one of the company’s rental trucks was part of an incident in lower Manhattan and said the company is “cooperating with authorities” in the investigation.
The suspect had multiple interactions with law enforcement in several states, online records show. Saipov had traffic citations issued in Missouri and Pennsylvania. He was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol in October 2016 after a warrant was issued when he failed to show in court for a misdemeanor offense. He paid a $200 bond, which he forfeited when he didn’t show up in court for his next hearing in November. A guilty plea was entered on his behalf.