NEW YORK (AP) — A man in a rented pickup truck drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial Tuesday, killing at least eight people and injuring several others in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror.”
The 29-year-old driver was shot by police after jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be a fake gun in each hand, officials said. He was taken into custody. His condition was not immediately disclosed.
Witnesses described a scene of panic and blood, with people screaming in fear and the path strewn with bodies and mangled bicycles.
Cities around the globe have been on alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. The Islamic State has been encouraging its followers to mow down people, and Britain, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks in recent months and years.
Police said the vehicle, a rented Home Depot truck, entered the bike path on West Street a few blocks from the new World Trade Center and mowed down several people. The truck also slammed into a small yellow school bus, injuring two adults and two children.
A paintball gun and a pellet gun were found at the scene, police said.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.