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USA: A Terrorist Attack in Lower Manhattan: Eight killed by man driving truck

Tuesday 31 October 2017, by siawi3


A Terrorist Attack in Lower Manhattan

By Anna Russell and Ben Taub

5:59 P.M.
A man drove a rental truck down a bike path for more than twenty city blocks in lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, running over pedestrians and bicyclists, ramming a school bus, and killing at least eight people and injuring a dozen others, in what the authorities called a terrorist attack.

The man exited the vehicle and brandished what the police later said was a paintball gun and a pellet gun and was then shot in the abdomen by an officer. “At first we thought it was an accident,†a woman who only gave her last name, Lin, said. She was picking up her child at a nearby school. “It was school-dismissal time, kids were all lingering around, it’s Halloween.†After the man rammed the school bus, “he got out of the car, staggered out, and almost started running,†she added. “He had guns in the air; then, before you knew it, the cops were there. We heard four shots fired.â€

The attack was reminiscent of a series of recent attacks in Europe and the United States in which vehicles were repeatedly used to attack civilians. The Islamic State has urged its followers to use trucks and cars as weapons to carry out attacks.

“We have been tested before as a city,†Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. “New Yorkers do not give in in the face of these kinds of actions. We will respond as we always do. We will be undeterred.â€

Jeremy Moller, Omar Kastrat, and Leo Shestakov, all tenth graders at nearby Stuyvesant High School, said that they had just left school for the day and were standing outside a deli on Chambers Street when they heard a commotion. “We were in that dog park, in between two buildings, and people started running up to us, like, ‘Someone got hit, someone got hit,’ †Shestakov said.

Moller described chaos. “When I went to look, the guy was in the middle of the West Side Highway carrying a gun and getting chased by, like, a big guy,†he said. “I think he was just a random pedestrian, who, like stepped up or something, ’cause the police weren’t there yet,†Moller said. “When the police came to try and close him down, he started running back towards the street. . . . It was scary because the guy had the gun out in his hand and he looked kind of shaky, like he didn’t know what he wanted to do.â€

“Everyone started freaking out, people started grabbing their kids and stuff, everyone got scared,†Moller said.

An hour after the attack, a group of parents stood in front of a police cordon, waiting for their children to leave P.S. 89, an elementary school on Warren Street. Police officers, dressed in blue and trying to manage the crowds, shouted, “Just wait, just wait. Your children are coming.†A door opened, and dozens of kids trudged out, eating chips and candy. Some wore Halloween costumes. There was a girl in a princess dress and a boy in a Batman outfit. They mostly seemed not to know what had happened, and they calmly found their parents, who strained to mask their panic by waving and smiling broadly as their children approached. A press scrum materialized along the corner of the police cordon, and cameras clicked. “No pictures of kids. They’re underage,†a policeman yelled. One mother left the scene pushing a stroller, sobbing.



New York attack: Eight killed by man driving truck


Less than a minute ago

Media caption: New York terror attack: Bodies and bikes lying on the street

At least eight people have been killed and 11 injured in New York after the driver of a truck mowed down people on a cycle path in Lower Manhattan.

A 29-year-old man who emerged from the vehicle was shot by a police officer and arrested.

US media named him as Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant who came to the US in 2010 and had apparently settled in Florida.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was “cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians”.

He added: “We know that this action was intended to break our spirit. But we also know that New Yorkers are strong, New Yorkers are resilient and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence and an act meant to intimidate us.”

Live updates: New York attack
In pictures: New York truck attack

New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner James O’Neill said a vehicle rented from retailer Home Depot had struck cyclists and pedestrians while being driven along the cycle path for many blocks, before hitting a school bus and coming to a halt.

The driver emerged holding what appeared to be two handguns and made a statement “consistent with a terror attack” before being shot in the abdomen by a police officer stationed near the scene, he said.

Media caption ’We will be undeterred’ by the attack says NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

A paintball gun and a pellet gun had been recovered from the scene, the commissioner said

“The dead and injured were just going about their days, heading home from work or from school or enjoying the afternoon sun on their bicycles,” he added.

“This is a tragedy of the greatest magnitude for many people, for many families here in New York and beyond today.”

Mangled bicycles littered the scene of the attack, which occurred as the city was celebrating Halloween.

One witness, identified as “Eugene,” told ABC Channel 7 that he saw a white pick-up truck driving fast down the cycle path alongside the West Side Highway, near Stuyvesant High School, at full speed and hitting a number of people.

He also reported hearing about nine or 10 shots.

Another witness, who gave his name as “Frank”, told local TV network NY1 that he had seen a man running around an intersection and heard five to six gunshots.

“I saw he had something in his hand, but I couldn’t tell what it was. But they said that it was a gun...”When the cops shot him, everybody started running away and it got a little bit crazy right there. So when I tried to look again, the guy was already down.“President Donald Trump had been briefed on the incident, the White House said.”Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected," spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

Mr Trump tweeted: “In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”