Sayfullo Saipov, NYC Home Depot truck driver shoots and runs over eight dead in deliberate act.
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov a 29 year old Florida man and Uzbek emigre has been identified as the truck driver taken into custody after ‘intentionally’ striking and killing at least eight individuals along a bike path in lower Manhattan, Tuesday afternoon.
Media described the truck driver who had crashed into street goers and bike riders while driving a rented Home Depot pick up truck as a Uzbekistan national who lived in Tampa and had been in the US for the last seven years. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Saipov was a legal immigrant.
Online records show the man working as a commercial truck driver along as what one associate described as a ‘friendly’ Uber driver and having a string of traffic violations.
The blood bath comes as Saipov made his way from Houston St down towards Tribeca before mounting the bike path on the West Side Highway just after 3pm.
Upon striking several cyclists and runners, the truck driver came to a stop after crashing into a school bus beneath the Tribeca bridge.
From there witnesses described Saipov emerging with what appeared to be two guns in his hand before being shot in the abdomen by pursuing police.
He survived and was taken to hospital but at least eight innocent people were killed with estimates that up to 15 people were injured.
The guns were later revealed to be be fake but instead a paintball gun and a pellet gun.
Witnesses described Saipov allegedly shouting ‘Allahu Akbar,’ (Arabic for ‘God is great) as they emerged from the Home Depot truck.
Tweeted singer Josh Groban after hearing ‘gun shots’ while out walking his dog.
‘Oh my god I just heard gun shots and ran with my dog. Downtown. F***,’ he said.
Others ran for their lives as they watched the truck plow into pedestrians after veering off the road.
The Attack in New York City Is Being Investigated as Terrorism
— Prime Politics (@Prime_Politics) October 31, 2017
BREAKING VIDEO: Shooting/car ramming incident Manhattan, multiple injured. Warning Graphic content pic.twitter.com/s6sELaTU2P
— News_Executive (@News_Executive) October 31, 2017
Sayfullo Saipov leaves a bloodbath behind:
Video footage from the scene showed cyclists lying on the ground with their bikes smashed in to pieces around them. By-passers were seen tending to them as they awaited medical attention.
Within minutes of the first reports, there was an enormous police and fire service presence at the site.
‘What happened was there was a car crash… he came out of one of the cars. He had two guns. He was running around Chambers and somebody started to chase him,’ told a 14-year-old Stuyvesant student via the nypost. ‘I heard four to six gunshots – everybody starts running.’
Told witness, Ezequiel Gonzalez, 18, via the dailymail: ‘I heard what sounded like gas caskets and I went up on the bridge and saw a car caved in. Then I was pushed back and saw the ambulances arriving. The school was put on lockdown.
Told another witness, John Williams, 22, ‘I came out and saw a man holding two guns. I could still smell the gun fire. It was a very strong scent. I was concerned for the safety of everyone because there was someone walking around with a gun.’
‘We all heard the gunfire,’ said witness Michael Corbin, who works at nearby District Council 37. ‘I heard distinctly five shots in quick succession.’
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Sayfullo Saipov: ‘He is like my little brother’
While little is known about Saipov, a report via the nypost told of Ohio resident Kobiljon Matkarov, 37, first meeting Saipov about five years ago in Florida, shortly after he arrived from Uzbekistan– with the two men connecting over their mutual heritage.
‘He is very good guy, he is very friendly… he is like little brother… he look at me like big brother,’ Matkarov told the media outlet from his home in Miamisburg.
Matkarov said Saipov had been working for Uber and living in New Jersey as recently as this summer. Prior to that, Saipo had run two trucking companies out of Ohio.
In a statement, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said the attack appeared to be a ‘lone wolf’ incident with no apparent link to a wider terrorist group or plot.
To date authorities offered few details as to the motive of the attack, with many wondering if the attack was terrorist motivated in light of the ongoing use of trucks as a lethal weapon in the last year, including in Nice, Berlin and London recently.
In all attacks, provocation from radicalized Islamist groups was believed to be the main motivator.
Welcome to a brave new America….
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) October 31, 2017
Two dead by my job pic.twitter.com/NcodvPS7Mq
— Me (@el_dorado91) October 31, 2017