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What has been labelled as a terror attack, a 29-year-old male suspect driving a rented Home Depot truck attacks cyclists and pedestrians in lower Manhattan late Tuesday afternoon, left at least eight people dead and injured 11 others.
Police have identified the suspect in the deadly terror attack in lower Manhattanas 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov of Tampa, Florida, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday. The suspect also left a note in his truck claiming he carried out the attack in the name of the ISIS, multiple news outlets reported.
O’Neill said that at 3:05 p.m., the male suspect — driving a rented Home Depot truck, according to the company — turned onto the bike and pedestrian path along the West Side Highway.
He then proceeded south along the path, plowing into pedestrians and cyclists alike until the vehicle reached the intersection between the bike path and Chambers Street, roughly three-quarters of a mile south.
O’Neill said that the truck “collided with a school bus” at Chambers Street, injuring two adults and two children. There are no street intersections between the point where the suspect entered and where the vehicle stopped.
From there, the suspect exited the truck, appearing to be carrying two firearms.
O’Neill said that the suspect “did make a statement when he exited the vehicle.”
ABC News reported that he shouted “Allahu Akbar,” which translates from Arabic to mean “God is great.”
The commissioner said that both the nature of the truck incident, which echoes other terror attacks globally, and “the statement [made by the suspect] has enabled us to label this a terrorist attack.”
A police officer shot the suspect in the abdomen after he exited the vehicle, and he was apprehended. He has since been transported to an undisclosed hospital.
O’Neill said that a paintball gun and pellet gun were found at the scene.
Multiple law enforcement officials told ABC News that the suspect in custody was identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov of Tampa, Florida.
The suspect, Saipov, an Uzbek national, was reported to have legally resided in the US starting in 2010 and worked as a commercial truck driver, according to NBC News. Preliminary reports suggested Saipov does not have an extensive criminal record, but he was reportedly stopped by police on multiple occasions in the past for traffic violations.
Six people were pronounced dead at the scene, while two others died at a nearby hospital.
ABC News reported also reported that apart from being a legal permanent resident in Tampa, Saipov reportedly lived in Cincinatti, Ohio and Paterson, New Jersey. The official said that Saipov lived in New Jersey with his wife and three children, .
Multiple reports, citing state records, also indicate Saipov had registered two automotive-related businesses in Ohio between 2011 and 2013, one of them being a trucking company that has one truck and one driver.
Saipov was an active driver for Uber, making over 1,400 trips in six months, according to a company statement to ABC News. Uber also said it was assisting law enforcement with its investigation and confirmed Saipov had passed a background check with the company.
Police and government officials have not yet publicly identified the suspect. But local and federal officials said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that the suspect deliberately mowed down cyclists and pedestrians in a rented Home Depot pickup truck, killing eight and injuring 12. Police said the suspect drove 10 blocks in the wrong direction before striking a school bus.
CNN reported, according to a person familiar with the ongoing investigation, Saipov rented the truck in New Jersey on Tuesday.
He then exited the vehicle, brandished a paintball gun and pellet gun, and was subsequently shot in the abdomen by a police officer, according to New York Police Department commissioner James O’Neill.
“This is a tragedy of the greatest magnitude,” O’Neill said.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference, “aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them.”
Multiple news agencies reported that Saipov shouted “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is great” in Arabic, as he exited the rented truck.
“Yeah, he did make a statement when he exited the vehicle. And if you just look at the M-O of the attack – that’s consistent with what’s been going on. So, that, along with the statement that’s enabled us to label this a terrorist event,” O’Neill said.
Following news of the incident, President Donald Trump called the suspect a “very sick and deranged person” and appeared to suggest attribution to the Islamic State.
“We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere,” Trump tweeted. “Enough!
Saipov was out of surgery from an undisclosed hospital, sources said to CNN late Tuesday.