NEW YORK – Eight people died on Tuesday when a man in a pick-up truck ran down people on a pedestrian/bike path in a “particularly cowardly act of terrorism,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference just hours after the attack.
“We know of eight innocent people who have lost their lives,” the mayor said.
The New York Police Department said earlier that the suspect was in custody.
The attack was the work of one person and authorities are not aware of any additional threats, New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during the briefing.
Even so, he said, state and municipal agencies will bolster security around the city, where big crowds are expected for the Halloween parade Tuesday night.
The suspect is a 29-year-old male, New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill said.
He also confirmed reports that the suspect shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) when he exited the truck brandishing two weapons that turned out to be a paint-ball gun and a pellet gun.
The investigation is being carried out by the FBI and the NPYD was input from other local, state and federal agencies, the commissioner said.
Six people died at the scene and two others were pronounced dead at the hospital, according to information from the Fire Department of New York.
Eleven of the injured were taken to hospitals, but none of them is listed in serious condition, the FDNY said.
Besides striking cyclists and pedestrians, the pick-up truck ran into another vehicle, described by witnesses as a small school bus.
President Donald Trump said that the perpetrator of the attack was a “sick and deranged” individual, adding that attacks of this kind must not occur in the US.
“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.!” the president said in a tweet.
Shortly thereafter, Trump sent another tweet saying “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”
And in a third tweet, the president added that “My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!”
Meanwhile, the Argentine government said that several Argentines were killed in the attack, but the Foreign Ministry told EFE that it could not specify – at present – how many of its citizens lost their lives.
Argentine authorities said that the country’s New York consulate is working with “local authorities in the identification of the victims.”