Since 9/11, New York has managed to avoid major terrorism incidents. But on Tuesday, the sort of vehicular attack that has recently plagued European cities like London, Berlin, Barcelona, Nice and Stockholm hit the city.
The attack, which has left eight people dead and 11 others injured, occurred when the suspect drove a pickup truck down a busy bike path along the Hudson River in Manhattan.
The man accused of the crime, Sayfullo Saipov, then smashed into a school bus, and ran along a road brandishing a pellet gun yelling “God is great”.
He was eventually shot in the abdomen by police, the New York Times reported.
According to the paper, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio labelled the rampage a terrorist attack “based on information we have at this moment”.
But authorities are treating the incident as a lone wolf attack, two counterterrorism officials were quoted as saying.
Among those killed were five Argentine tourists, who were in NY for a 30-year high school reunion party, a senior official from their home province said.
Belgian officials said another person who was killed, along with three of those injured, were from Belgium.
No Australians have been reported harmed.
Apparently, some nearby thought the attack to be a stunt for Halloween.
“We heard people screaming, ‘gun’ ‘shooter’ and ‘run away,’” said teenager Sirus Minovi, who attends Stuyvesant High School, close to where the truck came to a halt.
“We thought it was a Halloween prank.”
According to the Times, Saipov, 29, had previously been an Uber driver in New Jersey.
“We have been in contact with the F.B.I. and have offered our assistance,” an Uber official said.
“We will remain in close contact with law enforcement and the F.B.I. to assist with their investigation.
“We are aggressively and quickly reviewing this partner’s history with Uber, and at this time we have not identified any related concerning safety reports.”
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