An Uzbek immigrant accused of killing eight people in New York City by driving a rental truck down a riverfront bike path on Tuesday appeared to have acted alone, but the Halloween Day attack had all the hallmarks of terrorism, authorities said.
The suspect, who was shot by police and arrested moments after Tuesday’s rampage on the Lower West Side of Manhattan, left a note saying he carried out the attack in the name of the militant Islamic State group, the New York Times and CNN said.
The death toll paled in comparison to dozens killed in similar assaults last year in France and Germany. However, it was still the bloodiest single attack on New Yorkers since Sept. 11, 2001, when suicide hijackers crashed two jetliners into the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,600 people.
Driving at speeds estimated at more than 60 mph (100 km/h), the vehicle mowed down everyone in its path before slamming into the side of a school bus.
The man then climbed out of the vehicle brandishing what appeared to be a pair of handguns before he was confronted by a city police officer, who shot him in the abdomen. Police said they recovered a paint-ball gun and a pellet gun from the scene.
The attack was over in a matter of seconds. Video footage taken by a bystander that circulated online showed crumpled bicycles scattered long the path, and at least two people lying on the ground.
In addition to the eight fatalities, at least 11 people were hospitalized for injuries described by fire officials as serious but not life-threatening. That excluded the suspect, who underwent surgery for gunshot wounds.
Police declined to publicly identify the man, but a source familiar with the investigation said his name was Sayfullo Saipov, 29. He reportedly lived in Paterson, New Jersey, a one-time industrial hub about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of lower Manhattan.