Uber says suspect passed background check
Uber has confirmed that the man suspected of carrying out the attack was one of its drivers.
The ride-hailing service released a statement on Tuesday night saying 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov passed a background check to become an Uber driver. Saipov has now been banned from the Uber app.
The company says it has reached out to law enforcement to provide its full assistance and is “aggressively and quickly reviewing” the suspect’s history with Uber.
Uber says it is “horrified by this senseless act of violence.”
Suspect was a commercial truck driver
Records show Saipov was a commercial truck driver who formed a pair of businesses in Ohio after moving to the U.S, AP reports.
The first business, Sayf Motors Inc., used the address of a family friend near Cincinnati with whom Saipov had stayed for a couple of weeks after his arrival in the country. The second, Bright Auto LLC, used an address near Cleveland.
A trucking industry website listed Saipov at a Paterson, New Jersey, address that authorities were searching Tuesday night. Court records related to trucking-related infractions list Saipov with addresses in Paterson and the Cleveland suburbs.
The family friend with whom Saipov stayed in Ohio, Dilnoza Abdusamatova, told The Cincinnati Enquirer Saipov was “really calm” and worked hard.
“He always used to work. He wouldn’t go to parties or anything. He only used to come home and rest and leave and go back to work.”
Halloween parade goes on as normal
New York City’s always-surreal Halloween parade marched on Tuesday evening, hours after the truck attack.
Security was heavy as the Greenwich Village parade stepped off Tuesday about a mile (1.6 kilometers) away and four hours after the truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along the bike path near the World Trade Center memorial. But the raucous spectacle rolled along with its floats, bands, anything-goes sensibility and thousands of spectators.
“I’m not going to let it scare me,” Cathryn Strobl, a 23-year-old New Yorker, said as she waited for the parade to start in her Buffy the Vampire Slayer costume. “You can’t let it stop you from living your life.”
Minivan surrounded by police in New Jersey
Police investigating a rented Home Depot truck’s deadly rampage in New York have surrounded a white Toyota minivan with Florida plates parked in a New Jersey Home Depot lot.
AP reports that the van is parked near the company’s rental trucks. Officials say the man suspected of killing eight people and injuring 11 more on the bike path rented a truck from a Home Depot in New Jersey about an hour before Tuesday’s attack.
The man was shot by a police officer and is in custody in critical condition.
The Passaic (puh-SAY’-ihk) Home Depot remains open. The minivan is cordoned off.
Home Depot spokesman Matthew Harrigan says the company is “fully cooperating” with law enforcement. He says the company requires a driver’s license, insurance information and a credit card deposit to rent a truck.
Attacker was carrying paintball gun
More details have emerged about the attacker from the NYPD press conference.
The attacker is a 29-year-old man. He has not been named by police.
He drove onto a bike path at Houston Street and drove south until Chambers Street – around 20 blocks – hitting pedestrians and cyclists.
The driver then smashed into a school bus, injuring adults and children.
He then emerged holding a a paintball gun and pellet gun.
He was shot in the abodemen by a police offer and is now in hospital.
New York Mayor condemns ‘cowardly act’
Bill de Blasio, the New York Mayor, has condemned the attack at the NYPD press conference.
He called it a “very painful day in our city” and a “horrible tragedy”.
“This was a cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives,” Mr Blasio said.
He praised the spirit of the city, saying: “New Yorkers do not give in in the face of these kind of actions.”
Eyewitness: ‘There was no screaming, people were in shock’
Jamal Lewis, a 17-year-old student who witnessed the attack told the Telegraph: “I was walking down West street and heard a loud noise behind me. I saw the white pickup truck run over two cyclists and carried on. People were around their bodies, but they were dead. There was no screaming, people were in shock.”
Incident being treated as a terror attack
Reuters has this:
The striking of pedestrians by a vehicle in lower Manhattan on Tuesday was being treated as a terrorist attack, two U.S. government sources said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the New York City police department in investigating the incident, the sources said.
Witness accounts are beginning to come in
A man who was riding in an Uber along the West Side Highway near Chambers Street said he saw several bleeding people on the ground after a truck struck several people. Another witness said the truck had also collided with a small bus and one other vehicle.
Tom Gay, a school photographer, was on Warren Street and heard people saying there was an accident. He went down to West Street and a woman came around the corner shouting, “He has a gun! He has a gun!”
Gay told Associated Press that he stuck his head around the corner and saw a slender man in a blue track suit running southbound on West Street holding a gun. He said there was a heavyset man pursuing him.
He said he heard five or six shots and the man in the tracksuit fell to the ground, gun still raised in the air. He said a man came over and kicked the gun out of his hand.
Uber driver Chen Yi said he saw a truck plow into people on a popular bike path adjacent to the West Side Highway. He said he then heard seven to eight shots and then police pointing a gun at a man kneeling on the pavement.
“I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” Yi said.
His passenger, Dmitry Metlitsky, said he also saw police standing near a man who was on his knees with his hands up, and another man bleeding on the ground nearby. He said the truck had also collided with a small school bus and one other vehicle.
New York Police Department statement
The New York Police Department’s official Twitter account gave a “preliminary” account of what happened on Tuesday afternoon.
“Earlier a vehicle entered the West St. pedestrian/bike path a few blocks north of Chambers St,” it read.
“The vehicle struck multiple people on the path. There are several fatalities and numerous people injured.
“The vehicle continued south striking another vehicle. The suspect exited the vehicle displaying imitation firearms & was shot by NYPD.
“The suspect is in custody. This is preliminary, more information to follow.”