At least eight people were killed and 11 injured after a man drove a rental truck onto a busy bicycle pathway in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what we know so far:
Just a few minutes after 3 p.m., a man in a rented Home Depot truck sped for nearly a mile down a popular bike path near the 9/11 memorial, running over pedestrians and bikers. Of the victims, two were Americans, while the other six were tourists on holiday: five from Argentina, and one from Belgium. Among those injured are two children and the perpetrator, who was shot and arrested at the scene.
The incident is currently being investigated as an act of terror, with NY mayor Bill de Blasio condemning the attack as “a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at innocent people going about their lives.”
The driver of the truck has been identified as Sayfullo Saipov, a native from Uzbekistan who came to U.S. in 2010 as part of the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery. Saipov was apprehended on Tuesday after jumping out of the truck and being shot in the abdomen by New York police. Authorities say that Saipov shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he exited the vehicle and later an ISIS flag was found in the rented truck. Early reports suggest that Saipov was self-radicalized as he had not traveled to the Middle East and didn’t have any direct contact with the Islamic State. And while authorities in New York are cautious, they don’t believe the attack is part of a bigger terror plot.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York addressed the attacks and the aftermath at a press conference on Wednesday. “At this point, there is no evidence to suggest a wider plot or a wider scheme, but the actions of one individual who meant to cause pain and harm and probably death, and the resulting terror,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We will be vigilant.”
Meanwhile, President Trump responded to the attacks in a series of tweets early Wednesday morning attacking Sen. Chuck Schumer, who supported the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery when it was passed 27 years ago as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. Trump tweeted that he plans to terminate the lottery program and instead will fight for merit-based immigration.
By Alonso Montano