Dear Commons Community,
Yesterday, a driver plowed a pickup truck down a bike path along the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring 13 before being shot by a police officer in what was the deadliest terrorist attack in New York City since Sept. 11, 2001. As reported by the New York Times and the Associated Press.
“A driver plowed a pickup truck down a crowded bike path along the Hudson River in Manhattan on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring 13 before being shot by a police officer. The rampage ended when the motorist — whom the police identified as Sayfullo Saipov, 29 — smashed into a school bus, jumped out of his truck and ran up and down the highway waving a pellet gun and paintball gun and shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before he was shot in the abdomen by the officer. He remained in critical condition on Tuesday evening.
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared the rampage a terrorist attack and federal law enforcement authorities were leading the investigation. Investigators discovered handwritten notes in Arabic near the truck that indicated allegiance to the Islamic State, two law enforcement officials said. But investigators had not uncovered evidence of any direct or enabling ties between Mr. Saipov and ISIS and were treating the episode as a case of an “inspired” attacker, two counterterrorism officials said.
Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference, “Based on information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.”
Five of the people killed were Argentine tourists who traveled to New York for a 30-year high school reunion celebration, said a senior official in Santa Fe Province, where they were from. The Argentine authorities said they were Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi. Martín Ludovico Marro, a sixth member of the group, was wounded. Belgian officials said one of those killed and three of the injured were from Belgium.
Mr. Saipov came to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010, and had a green card that allowed permanent legal residence. He had apparently lived in Paterson, N.J., and Tampa, Fla. An official said Mr. Saipov rented a truck from a Home Depot in Passaic, N.J., where a white Toyota minivan believed to be his was found parked.
The truck came crashing to a stop near the corner of Chambers and West Streets by Stuyvesant High School. Sirus Minovi, 14, a freshman there who was hanging out with friends, said people scattered.
“We heard people screaming, ‘gun’ ‘shooter’ and ‘run away,’” Sirus said. “We thought it was a Halloween prank.”
He realized it was not a joke when he saw the man staggering through the intersection, waving guns and screaming words he could not make out. A passer-by approached the attacker, apparently trying to calm him, Sirus said, until the man realized the attacker had a gun. The man “put his hands up and was backing away,” Sirus said.
Almost immediately, as investigators began to look into Mr. Saipov’s history, it became clear that he had been on the radar of federal authorities. Three officials said he had come to the federal authorities’ attention as a result of an unrelated investigation, but it was not clear whether that was because he was a friend, an associate or a family member of someone under scrutiny or because he himself had been the focus of an investigation.”
We add this horrendous chapter to our City’s history. While the carnage was not as extensive as September 11, 2001, it hurts but does not dampen our spirits or our resolve to continue to live our lives. Hours after the attack, New Yorkers — young and old — poured into city streets to celebrate Halloween in a defiant stand against violence and fear. The annual Halloween parade in Greenwich Village went on as planned but with an increase in security. Among those joining the march were New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.