In what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called a “cowardly act of terror,” a man driving a rental truck struck and killed eight people on a bike path Tuesday afternoon.
Witness Andrew Howell said he was walking along the path when he saw a truck plow into two cyclists riding about 20 feet in front of him; he said the impact sent one of the victims straight up into the air, and the man was motionless when he landed back on the ground. The driver then continued at a high speed before crashing, Howell said.
A uniformed police officer was credited with stopping the carnage.
A suspect is in custody and was identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov of Tampa, Florida, multiple law enforcement officials told ABC News.
The crash occurred in an area near multiple city schools, and many were placed on a temporary lockdown after the crash.
Six of the deceased victims were pronounced dead at the scene; two more died at a nearby hospital. Police said 13 were wounded with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The truck collided with a school bus on Chambers Street near Stuyvesant High School, injuring two school staff members and two children, police said. One of the students was in critical condition Tuesday night, according to New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.
“Today there was an act of terror in close proximity to several schools in lower Manhattan,” Farina said. “We stand with the entire city as we mourn this senseless loss of life. We are grateful to the first responders and school staff who work tirelessly to help keep our schools and communities safe.”
After the collision, the truck driver exited the vehicle brandishing what appeared to be two handguns, police said. A uniformed police officer confronted the suspect and shot him in the abdomen, police said.
The suspect was wounded and transported to a hospital, police said.
A paintball gun and a pellet gun were recovered at the scene, police said.