NEW YORK — At least eight people are dead and several others injured after a truck slammed into multiple people near the World Trade Center in New York City Tuesday afternoon, according to WPIX.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the driver of a truck drove the wrong way down a well-trafficked bike path, “This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror.”
The driver then exited the vehicle while displaying imitation firearms and was shot by police, according to the NYPD. The suspect is in police custody and was taken to a hospital for treatment, sources at the NYPD said.
The incident is being investigated as terrorism, according to multiple law enforcement sources. Witnesses reported the suspect was yelling "Allahu Akbar," according to four law enforcement sources. The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is taking over the lead of the investigation.
The suspect, driving in a Home Depot rental truck, hopped a curb at West Houston Street and drove south on the bike path on the west side of West Side Highway in Lower Manhattan for several blocks, the official said.
After striking multiple people, the suspect hit a school bus and wrecked his truck, an NYPD official said. Four people were removed from the bus and they had minor injuries, the official said.
No other suspects are being sought, the NYPD said.
Photos from the scene show a damaged school bus and mangled bikes littering the street.
“I saw the car crash so I ran up the bridge,” a witness at the scene told PIX11’s Myles Miller. “When I ran up the bridge, I saw this dude with two guns. The guy with the two guns, for some reason, was running around. He was getting chased. And then all of the sudden, four shots went off and we all just started running.”
News footage showed crowds of spectators -- some capturing the scene with cellphone cameras -- gathered behind police lines. A white Home Depot truck with the front end smashed was also visible.
Parts of several mangled bicycles littered the popular bike path along the West Side Highway and the Hudson River, as medics tended to the wounded in the background.
Michael Corbin, the assistant real estate manager for District Council 37, the city's largest public employees union, was standing outside the union's lower Manhattan offices attending to a woman who slipped and fell on the sidewalk.
"The first responder to the event was a counterterrorism officer," he said. "We were attending to the victim, getting her onto a stretcher and, at that moment, we heard gunshots. I recalled hearing five gunshots in quick succession and immediately the officer ... left to investigate the situation from the direction we heard the noise coming from."
Another witness, Ramon Cruz, described what he saw.
"What I saw was that the driver -- he didn't look like he was bleeding," said Cruz. "He was dragging his foot. He looks frustrated, panicked, confused. People are running past me, saying, 'He's got a gun. He's got a gun.' I didn't see any gun.
"It was a white pickup truck. He looked pretty bad without bleeding or anything like that. I didn't see him hit anybody. All I heard was the impact of a crash."