Latest: Suspect who left eight dead in New York 'cowardly act of terror' named

Update 12.14am: A man in a rented van mowed down cyclists and pedestrians in New York killing eight people in what the city's mayor called "a particularly cowardly act of terror".

He careered down a popular cycle path a few streets from the World Trade Centre memorial injuring at least 11 people.

The 29-year-old driver was shot in the stomach by police and arrested after jumping out of the van with what turned out to be a fake gun in each hand and shouting "Allahu Akbar!"

Authorities respond near a damaged school bus in New York after motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center.

His condition was not immediately released, and he has been identified as Sayfullo Saipov, two law enforcement officials said.

The suspect has a Florida driving licence but may have been living in New Jersey.

He is expected to live, the two law enforcement officials have said.

President Donald Trump railed against Islamic State, although law enforcement officials have made no mention publicly of the group's possible involvement, and it has not claimed responsibility.

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

He added: "My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!"

The driver barrelled along the cycle path for nearly a mile before slamming into a small yellow school bus.

The mayhem and the burst of police gunfire set off panic in the area and left the pavement strewn with mangled bicycles and bodies that were soon covered with sheets.

"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 Manhattan along the Hudson River and officers rushed into the neighbourhood just as people were preparing for Halloween festivities, including the big annual parade through Greenwich Village.

"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," New York's mayor Bill de Blasio said.

New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo called it a "lone wolf" attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.

President Trump promised his administration's "full support" to New York City's police department in the wake of what he called a "cowardly" terrorist attack.

He said in a statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today's terrorist attack in New York City and their families."

The president also thanked the emergency services "who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack".

He said: "These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage."

Update 10.56pm: The suspect of a 'cowardly act of terror' in New York has been confirmed as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, from Tampa, Florida.

In line with media reports circulating in the US, a law enforcement official has now told AP the suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar".

Police Commissioner James O'Neill was asked at a news conference whether the suspect shouted the phrase, which means "God is great" in Arabic, or something like it.

Commissioner O'Neill replied: "Yeah. He did make a statement when he exited the vehicle," though he declined to elaborate.

Update 9.41pm:The Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner of New York City James O'Neill have adressed the incident in the city believed to be a terror attack.

A 29-year-old man drove a rented van on to a busy New York cycle path, killing eight people in an incident being treated as a terrorist attack.

The driver was then shot by police after jumping out with what turned out to be two fake guns.

He was taken into custody, and his condition was not immediately disclosed.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the attacker had killed eight people in "a particularly cowardly act of terror".

"New Yorkers do not give in, in the face of these kind of actions," he said.

He extended his thanks to the NYPD and the first responders who came to the aid of those injured.

The Mayor asked that all New Yorkers be vigilent and live by the idea of if you see something, say something.

He assured the extensive additional deployment of officers in the city.

The investigation is still underway with no evidence to suggest a wider plot or wider scheme and the suspect's identity is not being released at this time.

Update 9.11pm: Eight people are dead after a rented van drove on to a New York bicycle path in an incident that is being treated as possible terrorism.

The driver of the rented Home Depot van emerged from the vehicle screaming, holding two imitation firearms.

Police say the man was shot by officers and is in custody.

At least nine people were injured in the incident near the World Trade Centre, and the White House said President Donald Trump had been briefed.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president and New York native has been briefed by White House chief of staff John Kelly and "will be continually updated as more details are known".

She said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected."

A paramedic looks at a body covered under a white sheet along the bike path near the World Trade Center in New York.

Police said the vehicle entered the cycle path on West Street a few streets from the World Trade Centre memorial and struck at least 15 people, leaving mangled bicycles behind. At least two bodies could be seen lying on the path.

Update 8.21pm: At least two people have been killed by a motorist who drove on to a busy bicycle path in New York and struck several people, before emerging from the vehicle screaming and firing what appeared to be a gun.

An Associated Press photographer on the scene witnessed at least two bodies lying motionless on the path near the World Trade Centre memorial.

The New York Police Department posted on its Twitter feed that one person was in custody.

The department said it is unclear whether anyone was shot.

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.

Warning: Graphic video below. Some viewers may find this footage disturbing.

A witness said the truck had also collided with a small bus and one other vehicle.

Earlier: At least six people have been shot by a gunman firing from his car in Lower Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, according to reports from the New York Post.

Police were reportedly notified of the shooting, which took place at West Street and Chambers Street, at 3:15 pm.

The New York Police Department have announced on Twitter that one person has been taken into custody and the investigation is ongoing.

More as we get it…


 

Join the conversation - comment here

House Rules for comments - FAQ - Important message for commenters


Most Read in World