At least six people were killed and 15 were injured when a truck driver deliberately mowed down people and targeted a school bus in lower Manhattan Tuesday in what authorities are investigating as an act of terror, officials tell News 4 New York.
More than a dozen people were hit when the driver of a Home Depot rental truck zoomed at least 10 blocks down a popular bike bath from West Houston to Chambers streets.
The man crashed into a school bus carrying three children during the rampage, and police say that he’d deliberately targeted that bus. Witnesses told police they saw the driver swerve the truck to target the school bus. They said the driver screamed “Allah’ akbar” in the truck, then emerged carrying two fake guns — either BB or paint guns — and started running around before he was finally shot by police.
“A guy got out with his biker jacket and started shooting up the place,” one witness told News 4. “All the kids were in the courtyard at P.S. 89 and started running… That’s where we ran up here at North End Avenue and Warren.”
“Then I saw the bus over there, all the kids went into this building. I went to go help the driver of this special ed bus, it looks like,” said the witness. “I wasn’t sure why he was so spaced out and then I went to the other side, it was all caved on. A poor girl was stuck right above the wheel well. There were two kids that were just stuck by the window. It was all blown out.That’s where we ran up here at North End Avenue and Warren,” he said.
“Then I saw the bus over there, all the kids went into this building. I went to go help the driver of this special ed bus, it looks like,” said the witness. “I wasn’t sure why he was so spaced out and then I went to the other side, it was all caved on. A poor girl was stuck right above the wheel well. There were two kids that were just stuck by the window. It was all blown out.”
The conditions of the children and the school bus driver weren’t immediately clear. The driver was taken to Bellevue Hospital after he was shot by police.
A U.S. counterterrorism official told NBC News that the intelligence community is unaware of any claims of responsibility in the attack at this time.
Students from Stuyvesant High School and other witnesses in the area tweeted that they’d heard gunshots. A message has been left with the Department of Education.
A large number of police vehicles could be seen near West Street and Chambers Street in Tribeca, which is near a community college, Stuyvesant High School, and a few blocks north of the National Sept. 11 Memorial.
According to audio recorded by the service Broadcastify, the NYPD cleared the area around the truck to bring in bomb squads shortly after the violent episode.
“Box truck on Chambers and West, we need that area cleared,” said one officer. “We need everybody away from that truck.”
Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo were headed to the scene. President Donald Trump’s office said in a statement that he and Chief of Staff John Kelly are monitoring the situation.
Police incident on west side of chambers street after series of rattling POPS. Hope all are safe. pic.twitter.com/C0mZYU7l1D
— bill tsapalas (@btsapalas) October 31, 2017
Source: 6 Dead After Truck Driver Plows Through Bike Path, Into School Bus in Apparent Act of Terror: Sources – NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Gunshots-Fired-Lower-Manhattan-Tribeca-454316613.html#ixzz4x7fUMe30
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