‘Cowardly act of terror’: Truck driver kills 8 on bike path

NEW YORK (AP) — A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11 in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror.” The driver was shot in the abdomen by police after jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be a fake gun in each hand and shouting what witnesses said was “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” authorities said. The man underwent surgery and was in critical condition but was expected to survive.

Bicycles and debris lie on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Authorities stand near a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Authorities stand near a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Map locates shooting downtown Manhattan, New York.; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;

Authorities investigate the wreckage of a Home Depot truck, top left, and a body under a white cloth, top right, after a motorist drove the truck down the bike path Tuesday Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. The motorist drove onto the busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial Tuesday, killing several. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Emergency personnel carry a man into an ambulance after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

A woman cries as families carry their children out of the scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Authorities investigate the scene near a covered body on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Scene of a a deadly incident along a bike path near Stuyvesant High School, Tuesday Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Families carry their children out of the scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Authorities stand near a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Emergency personnel carry a man into an ambulance after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Firefighters work in the scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Firemen work in the scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Heavily armed police stand guard near the scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

People and media watch the scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Police stand guard near the scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Police stand guard near the scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Police stand by as they continue to secure the scene along a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Police stand by as they continue to secure the scene along a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

A father reacts as he carries his children out of the crime scene after a motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Authorities stand near a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Authorities stand near a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11 in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror”. (Nov. 1)

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says a truck attack in lower Manhattan killed eight people and was a “cowardly” act of terror. ++GRAPHIC VIDEO WARNING, COVERED BODIES++ (Oct. 31)

Here are the top stories for Tuesday, Oct. 31st: Motorist strikes bicyclists and pedestrians in NYC; Utah authorities arrest fatal carjacking suspect; Trump wants to sign tax reform bill by Christmas; Dallas Zoo animals get Halloween treat.

Video shot above the scene of the fatal attack in New York shows a victim lying in a bicycle path, and two crashed vehicles. (Oct. 31)

A man in a rented truck drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial, killing and injuring at least 15 people, police said. The driver was then shot by police after jumping out with what turned out to be two fake guns. (Oct. 31)

A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11 in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror”. (Nov. 1)

NEW YORK (AP) — A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11 in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror.”

The driver was shot in the abdomen by police after jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be a fake gun in each hand and shouting what witnesses said was “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” authorities said. The man underwent surgery and was in critical condition but was expected to survive.

Officials who were not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity identified the attacker as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov and said he is from Uzbekistan and came to the U.S. legally in 2010. He has a Florida driver’s license but may have been staying in New Jersey, they said.

The driver barreled along the bike path in a rented Home Depot truck for the equivalent of about 14 blocks, or around eight-tenths of a mile, before slamming into a small yellow school bus. The mayhem and the burst of police gunfire set off panic in the neighborhood and left the pavement strewn with mangled bicycles and bodies that were soon covered with sheets.

A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11 in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror”. (Nov. 1)

“I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” said Chen Yi, an Uber driver.

Eugene Duffy, a chef at a waterfront restaurant, said, “So many police came, and they didn’t know what was happening. People were screaming. Females were screaming at the top of their lungs.”

Police closed off streets across the western edge of lower Manhattan along the Hudson River, and officers rushed into the neighborhood just as people were preparing for Halloween festivities, including the big annual parade through Greenwich Village.

A police bomb squad scoured the truck but found no explosives.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

New York and other cities around the globe have been on high alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. The Islamic State has been exhorting its followers to mow down people, and England, France and Germany have seen deadly vehicle attacks in the past year or so.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.

The city’s police commissioner, James O’Neill, said a statement the driver made as he got out of the truck and the method of attack led police to conclude it was a terrorist act.

On Twitter, President Donald Trump called it “another attack by a very sick and deranged person” and declared, “NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”

While police did not specifically blame the Islamic State for the New York bloodshed, Trump railed against the extremist group, tweeting, “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”

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.!

We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!

Police said Saipov rented the truck at about 2 p.m. in New Jersey, entering the bike path about an hour later on West Street a few blocks from the new World Trade Center, the site of the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history. The truck then turned at Chambers Street, hitting the school bus and injuring two adults and two children.

A paintball gun and a pellet gun were found at the scene, police said. At least two covered-over bodies could be seen lying on the bike path, and the front end of the truck was smashed in, as was the side of the school bus.

Two law enforcement officials said a note was recovered inside the truck. One official said the note was handwritten in a foreign language, possibly Arabic.

The contents were being investigated, but the officials said the document supported the belief the act was terrorism. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Tom Gay, a school photographer, heard people saying there was an accident and went down to West Street, where a woman came around the corner shouting, “He has a gun! He has a gun!”

Gay said he stuck his head around the corner and saw a slender man in a blue track suit running on West Street holding a gun. He said a heavyset man was chasing 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.

Officials did not identify the victims of the attack, but Argentina’s foreign ministry said three of the dead hailed from that country.

The city’s Halloween parade went on as scheduled after the attack, but security was increased, with extra officers, heavy-weapons teams and sand trucks parked as protective barriers along the route.

A Home Depot Inc. spokesman said the company, based in Atlanta, was “fully cooperating” with law enforcement in the truck attack investigation.

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Associated Press writers Sadie Gurman in Washington, Tom Hays and Adam Geller in New York and Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles contributed to this story.

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