Update: Law enforcement sources told CBS the suspect has been identified as 29-year old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipovm of Tampa, Florida. Sources told CBS News that Saipovm yelled “God is great” in Arabic when he exited the vehicle.
Here’s a photo of him being taken into custody:
Saipovm is an Uzbek national who came to the US in 2010, according to NBC. As Gov. Cuomo said during a press conference Tuesday evening, Saipovm is believed to have acted alone and there’s no evidence of a wider plot.
Here is more on this guy from The Heavy:
Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek national who drove for Uber, was identified in news reports as the suspect accused of ramming a Home Depot rental truck into people on a bike path in lower Manhattan, killing at least eight and injuring multiple more, in a frightening “act of terror” that unfolded in the shadow of the World Trade Center memorial.
ABC News and other media outlets named the suspect as Sayfullo Saipov, who had identification from Tampa, Florida but was more recently living in New Jersey. According to CBS News, the terror suspect is “Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, apparently from Uzbekistan.” He is an Uzbek national who has been in the United States for seven years, according to NBC and CNN. Online records show he worked as a commercial truck driver and had ties to Ohio as well. According to the New York Post, a friend described Saipov as a “friendly Uber driver.” Although in the country since 2010, possibly on a green card, Saipov had contact with law enforcement in many states for minor traffic violations, showing a mobile life.
New York police and other authorities declined to release the 29-year-old suspect’s name in an early evening press conference after the Halloween afternoon attack, but the mayor publicly and quickly called the car ramming an “act of terror,” and his identity quickly leaked. CNN is reporting that sources say Saipov is not a U.S. citizen.
The suspect was shot by a New York police officer in the abdomen after leaping from the truck with paintball and pellet guns while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” and is in custody, New York’s top officials confirmed in the press conference. According to CNN, the FBI has taken over responsibility for the investigation and is considering the attack to be terrorism. It was the city’s deadliest terrorist attack since September 11, 2001.
“It looked intentional,” an eyewitness confirmed to CNN, describing the truck hurtling through the busy bike lane, leaving behind crumpled bicycles and bodies with tire trucks visible on them. Pedestrians and bicyclists can see the World Trade Center memorial area as they traverse the popular, and usually peaceful, area where the attack occurred. It’s literally adjacent to the scene where the United States’ worst terrorist attack occurred. Again and again, in their initial comments, New York officials focused on horrific spectacle of average people just going about their lives, enjoying a beautiful fall day, before being struck down so randomly. Whether the suspect had any ties to ISIS is not yet clear.
“The truth is, New York is an international symbol of freedom and Democracy,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in the press conference, describing the suspect as a likely “lone wolf.” He added, “That also makes us a target from those people who oppose those concepts… We go forward together, and we go forward stronger than ever. We’re not going to let them win.” Be forewarned that some of the videos and photos below are graphic.