At least eight people have been killed and dozens others injured after a Home Depot rental truck plowed through people on a bike path in lower New York near a prestigious private high school and the World Trade Centre.
Videos and pictures of the scene show bikes strewn along the path, which runs alongside the West Side highway in Manhattan. One video showed a body on the ground, while media footage showed people being loaded into ambulances on stretchers.
New York Police Department says that one person is in custody, and that another was shot after exiting the vehicle with “imitation firearms”.
The truck entered the bike path at Houston street, and drove through the popular recreational area on the west side of Manhattan, hitting dozens of people.
The driver eventually smashed into a school bus carrying three children during the rampage, and police say they believe that the suspect deliberately targeted the bus. Witnesses indicated that they had seen the truck swerve to hit the bus.
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said lamented the deaths in a press conference following the attack, but spoke of resiliency in the face of what he described as an act of terror.
“We know that this action was intended to break our spirit, but we also know that New Yorkers are Strong, New Yorkers are resilient,” Mr DeBlasio said. “We have been tested before as a city, very near where this attack occured.”
Police advised people to stay away from the area, which is around the Chambers Street. Reports indicate that a nearby high school, Stuyvesant High School, has been placed on lock down, as have several nearby buildings.
Police officers, including the bomb squad, have responded to the scene. The Fire Department said that officials responded just after 3 pm to reports of a mass casualty incident in the area.
As of 3:30 pm, police said that they were not looking for additional suspects. A New York Police Department official said that one suspect is under arrest following the incident.
New York City will see an increased police presence in its airports, and at major infrastructure points in the coming day, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference. He said that there was no indication that there will be another attack, but that they were increasing security as a regular precaution.
“The truth is New York is an international symbol of freedom and democracy. That’s what we are and we are proud of it. That also makes us a target for those people who oppose those concepts. We’ve lived with this before. We’ve felt the pain before. We feel the pain together. But we go forward today and we go forward together. We’re not going to let them win.”
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