A man driving a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path alongside the Hudson River in New York City on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring about a dozen others in what authorities said was an act of terrorism.
The 29-year-old suspect was shot by police in the abdomen and arrested after he crashed the truck into a school bus and fled his vehicle, authorities told to Reuters.
CNN and The New York Times, each citing law enforcement sources, reported that investigators found a note left by the suspect claiming he carried out the attack in the name of the Islamic State militant group.
A US law enforcement source told Reuters the suspect was an Uzbekistan-born immigrant.
The BBC, citing media sources, named him as Sayfullo Saipov, who came to the US in 2010.
The incident marked the greatest loss of life from a suspected terrorist attack in New York since suicide hijackers crashed jetliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, killing more than 2,600 people.
Tuesday’s assault, on the far west side of lower Manhattan a few blocks from the site of the World Trade Center, was reminiscent of several deadly vehicle attacks in Europe during the past 15 months.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror, aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference following the attack.
A spokesperson for the US Department of Homeland Security similarly called the incident an “apparent act of terrorism.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the suspect appeared to have acted alone.
“There’s no evidence to suggest a wider plot or a wider scheme. These are the actions of one individual meant to cause pain and harm and probably death,” Cuomo said at the news conference.
Later, asked by CNN in an interview whether the suspect had been known to authorities before the attack, Cuomo replied, “It’s too early to give you a definitive answer.”