The 29-year-old man detained after a flatbed truck drove down a popular lower Manhattan bike path, killing at least 8 people and injuring more than a dozen more, left a note in the truck claiming he committed the attack for ISIS, according to law enforcement sources.
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.
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.