President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have responded after a terrorist attack hit New York City Tuesday afternoon. At least 8 people are dead, and as many as a dozen are injured, including children.
In what appears to be a terror attack styled after similar attacks over the past couple years, a man reportedly drove a Home Depot rental truck onto a busy bike path near the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, hitting bicyclists head-on, according to CNN. He then slammed into a school bus, injuring two kids and two adults onboard.
At that point, he exited his wrecked vehicle and waved two guns, later discovered to be a paintball gun and pellet gun, according to CNBC. Police shot him after he yelled “allahu akbar.”
The suspect, who did not die after being shot by police, has been identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov of Tampa, Florida, according to NBC News. He entered the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2010. Kobiljon Matkarov, who told the New York Post he's a friend of Saipov, says the young Uzbeki came across as a "very good guy" who was "very friendly" and worked as an Uber driver in New Jersey.
He was taken into custody with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. CNN is reporting that he’s in surgery and is expected to live.
President Trump and Melania responded to the attack on Twitter:
In a later statement, Trump added, "We offer our thanks to the first responders who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack."
Even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio readily acknowledged the nature of the situation, saying, “Let me be clear, based on the information that we have at this moment, 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 going to hit them.”
Police Commissioner James O’Neill confirmed that the attacker yelled “allahu akbar,” which allowed officials “to label this a terrorist event,” according to the Associated Press.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo added that it was a “lone wolf” attack because he hasn’t seen evidence yet that Saipov was connected to a larger terrorist network. An image captured by a witness shows what appeared to be Saipov running through the street with guns in his hands in the moments leading up to police shooting him.
The NBC New York reporter in the video mistakenly called Saipov “the victim” instead of “the suspect.” It is not known at this time if the attack had anything to do with Tuesday being Halloween. According to CNN, a Halloween parade scheduled to be held just blocks away Tuesday night will still go on as planned.
Please pray for the victims of this terrible attack! And please pray for America’s protection from its enemies. In other news, yet another GOP congressman is set to announce that this is his last term in office.