New York City experienced a terrorist attack in which eight people were killed by a man deliberately driving a truck into pedestrians and cyclists.
First responders at the scene of the terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017 (Christopher Penler/Alamy Live News)
A little more than two hours after the incident, Police Commissioner James P O’Neill held a press conference together with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Fire Commissioner Daniel A Nigro and Bill Sweeney of the New York FBI offices.
The Commissioner commended the response of an NYPD officer on post near the location who: “Stopped the carnage moments after it began.” He also commended the work of other first responders, including the fire department and EMS personnel.
Governor Cuomo said that at this stage, there was no evidence to suggest a wider plot or a wider scheme, but this appeared to be: “The actions of one individual who meant to cause pain and harm and probably death, and the resulting terror, and that was the purpose.”
Commissioner O'Neill outlined the chronology of the event:
- At about 15:03hrs local time, a male driving a rented Home Depot pickup truck entered the West Side Highway bicycle path at Houston Street, began driving southbound, striking a number of pedestrians and bicyclists along the route.
- At Chambers Street, the truck collided with a school bus, injuring two adults and two children. After the collision, the driver of the truck – a 29-year-old male – exited the vehicle, brandishing two handguns.
- The uniformed police officer assigned to the 1st Precinct, confronted the subject and shot him in the abdomen. The subject was wounded and transported to a local hospital.
- A paintball gun and a pellet gun were recovered at the scene.
Fire Commissioner Nigro noted that six people – all males – were pronounced dead at the scene between Houston Street and Chambers Street. “Two others were transported in traumatic arrest and were pronounced at the hospital. We also transported 11 people, all with serious but, at this moment, not life-threatening injuries.”
The alleged perpetrator is reported to be of Uzbek origin. In CRJ 12:4 Lina Kolesnikova reports on growing concerns about how radicalised operatives from the ex-Soviet Union regions of Central Asia and the Russian Caucasus are increasingly carrying out attacks elsewhere. She looks at some of the causes and factors behind this trend. Read the article for free here