Update 9:50 pm: In a tweet that was seemingly tailor made to infuriate CNN's army of political analysts, President Trump announced that he has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to step up its "already Extreme Vetting Program" in light of today's attack in New York City. adding that "being politically correct is fine, but not for this!"
Update 8:55 pm: The identitiy of that hero cop has been revealed by the New York Daily News:He is Officer Ryan Nash, 28, a Long Island resident who joined the NYPD in July 2012. Nash was responding to a call of a nonviolent, emotionally disturbed person outside Stuyvesant High School, located at Chambers and West Sts. However, the report would prove inaccurate; Saipov had used a rented Home Depot truck to mow down cyclists and pedestrians in a brutal attack on the West Side Highway. Ryan, pictured below, rushed to the scene, arriving after Saipov crashed his rented pickup truck into a school bus on Chambers St., near the high school.
Saipov was brandishing two handguns, which turned out to be a paintball gun and a pellet gun (other reports identified them as an airsoft gun and a bb gun). Nash opened fire, shooting Saipov in the stomach and sending him sprawling to the ground and stopping him from potentially murdering more innocent people.
The suspect, who was taken into custody soon after, killed at least eight people and injured 15 more in today's afternoon attack on the West Side Highway in Manhattan's tony Chelsea neighborhood, only minutes away from the World Trade Center memorial.
“I want commend the response of our NYPD officer that was on post near the location who stopped the carnage moments after it began,” NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill told reporters at a press conference Tuesday evening.
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Update 8:50pm: NBC reports that law enforcement officials say Saipov was spoken to in hospital, but refused to answer the initial round of questions.
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Update 8:20pm: As the public awaits more details from the NYPD, FDNY and FBI about today's Halloween terror attack,NBC reports that allegiance notes to ISIS written in Arabic were found at the scene of today's attack.
Authorities said the man, identified by sources as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, is thought to be a "lone actor" in the attack in the Hudson River Greenway on Tuesday afternoon. Authorities said he shouted "Allahu Akbar" at some point as he sped down the bike path and apparently deliberately rammed into a school bus for children with disabilities. The Uzbek national living in New Jersey got out of that truck afterward and was seen running through traffic on West Street with a BB gun and a paintball gun before being shot in the abdomen by police and taken into custody. He's being treated at Bellevue Hospital, where he remains in custody.
Sources said Saipov lives in Paterson, New Jersey, but he had a Florida license with a Tampa address on him when he was arrested. Police and federal agents were seen swarming the neighborhood street where he was thought to live on Tuesday evening. Residents in the area said that Saipov had a wife and two young children.
Law enforcement officials say Saipov rented the killer truck at Home Depot in Passaic, NJ and drove to Manhattan for attack
Kobiljon Matkarov, a Facebook friend of Saipov's, told NBC News that the two met while they were both living in Florida. He said his friend was working as a truck and Uber driver. "He was very happy guy," said Matkarov, who is also from Uzbekistan. "he liked the US. he is no terrorist. He's all the time happy, smiling all the time."
U.S. intelligence officials said they had no knowledge of any terror groups claiming responsibility for the violence. Gov. Cuomo said that Saipov is thought to have acted alone in the attack. Saipov also pleaded guilty to two traffic offenses in Pennsylvania between 2012 and 2015, according to records from the Keystone State. He was also arrested for at least one traffic incident in Missouri, though details of that arrest weren't immediately available. But there was no other information on whether the man had any other criminal record.
NBC published its report about an hour after President Donald Trump tweeted that "We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!"
Meanwhile, the New York Post interviewed a friend of the suspect, Uzbek national Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, who described him as a "very friendly" Uber driver who had been living in New Jersey at least since the summer.
Also, a booking photo of Saipov taken when he failed to appear in a Missouri court for a traffic violation has emerged online, as have reports he has a girlfriend and three children living in Paterson, New Jersey.
Update 7:20pm: In Trump's official statement, the president said "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today’s terrorist attack in New York City and their families"
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Update 6:10pm: According to law enforcement officials, the suspect has been identified as 29-year old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov of Tampa, Florida, an Uzbek national who came to America in 2010. Sources told CBS News that Saipov yelled "God is great" in Arabic when he exited the vehicle. Here's a photo of him being taken into custody:
Saipov is an Uzbek national who came to the US in 2010, according to NBC. As Gov. Cuomo said during a press conference Tuesday evening, Saipov is believed to have acted alone and there's no evidence of a wider plot.
CBS News obtained a photo of the suspect:
According to eyewitness of the terrorist attack, Saipov “sprinted toward the group of kids” after crashing onto bike path and hitting school bus as shown in the video below:
In an attack that bears the hallmarks of recent ISIS terrorist assaults in the UK, Spain and France, a truck veered into the West Side Highway bike lane at 3:15pm on Tuesday afternoon, and mowed down cyclists and pedestrians, leaving at least eight dead, including two children, and nearly a dozen injured near Chambers Street and West Street, near Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan. Police Chief Jim O'Neill said two children and two adults who were on the bus are among the injured. Six people were pronounced dead at the scene between Houston and Chambers streets, FDNY commisisoner Daniel A. Nigro said. Two others were in traumatic arrest and pronounced dead at the hospital, Nigro said.
Witnesses described a scene of terror, saying a man in a truck ran over two people before plowing into a school bus.
The driver of the vehicle, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, has been shot by the NYPD and taken into custody alive.
More than a dozen people were hit when a Home Depot rental truck zoomed at least 10 blocks down a popular bike bath from West Houston to Chambers streets according to NBC. Witnesses at the scene said the man also hit a school bus at some point during the alleged rampage.
Sources added that the driver hit a school bus at Chambers street and got out of the vehicle with a gun. Police confirmed that the suspect was waving an air pistol and BB gun when police reached the scene. The suspect was shot in the abdomen before being taken into custody.
The NYPD has released a recording of a press conference with NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Police Chief Jim O'Neill.
Witnesses tell police that the driver of the vehicle shouted 'Allah Akbar.'
Discussing the incident, Mayor Bill De Blasio said that the attack was a "cowardly act of terror" and that an investigation is under way.
NYC YORK MAYOR DE BLASIO SAYS `THIS WAS AN ACT OF TERROR'
NEW YORK GOVERNOR CUOMO SAYS NO EVIDENCE OF WIDER PLOT
NYC MAYOR SAYS EIGHT PEOPLE KILLED IN MANHATTAN INCIDENT
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; a police source said authorities are exploring for any international ties.
“Jesus! A car just ran over 2 people and then crashed into a school bus. I see two dead bodies and citibikes on the floor destroyed,” a Twitter user wrote.
"A guy got out with his biker jacket and started shootin gup the place," he said. "All the kids were in the courtyard at P.S. 89 and started running." The suspect was then shot by police, according to sources. He's in custody, police say.
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."
The Daily Newsreported that the suspect's truck jumped the curb at Houston St. at 3:05 pm and began bearing down on the unsuspecting bicyclists.
“I heard a truck, a car, something going down the bike path,” said eyewitness Eugene Duff, 44, who was waiting at a red light to walk across West St. “It was wrong.”
At Chambers street, the bus collided with the school bus. The subject got out brandishing what appeared to be two handguns. He was swiftly shot and subdued by an NYPD officer.
“I thought it was terrorism,” he said of the Tribeca attack. “That’s the first thing that crossed my mind.”
The off-duty chef watched in disbelief as the driver of the speeding truck ran down a pair of CitiBike riders about 50 feet apart, catching both from behind on the busy bike path alongside the Hudson River.
There were visible tire tracks on the bodies of the two victims as the truck continued to carve a path of carnage through the neighborhood, he said. The suspect was arrested on West St. a few blocks north of the World Trade Center.
Home Depot, in a statement, said they were cooperating fully with the mass killing investigation.
Witnesses reported seeing a gunman firing from inside the Home Depot tuck, and video showed a badly damaged truck from the home improvement store sitting on a median.
“He shot about 15 times toward the pier and down West St.” one witness told the Daily News.
The smell of gunpowder hung in the air as police shut down the scene.
Police say they are not looking for additional suspects. Several nearby buildings, including Stuyvesant High, were placed under lockdown. The FBI's New York field office is also responding. The attack occurrred at 3:15 pm Eastern Time. NBC has confirmed that the incident was a deliberate attack.
One witness told the New York Post the suspect got out of his vehicle and was armed with two guns.
CBS is reporting that police are treating the incident as a terrorist attack:
“What happened was there was a car crash … he came out of one of the cars. He had two guns,” a 14-year-old Stuyvesant High School student said. “We thought it was a Halloween thing. He started running around the highway. There was another guy in a green shirt that was chasing him around.” “I heard four to six gunshots — everybody starts running,” she added.
According to some, this may be the most serious NYC incident since Sept 11: