What We Know About The New York Attacker

Nov 1, 2017
Originally published on November 1, 2017 8:12 am
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A terrifying scene unfolded in Lower Manhattan yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Central, be advised, we have multiple people on the ground from the Chambers all the way up to Houston.

MARTIN: At least eight people were killed and 11 others injured when a man drove his truck onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial. Police then shot the driver and took him into custody. This morning, we're learning more about the suspect. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang is on the line from New York.

Hansi, what else can you tell us about the alleged attacker?

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: Well, NYPD officials tell NPR his name is Sayfullo Saipov, 29 years old. He was born in Uzbekistan, according to a law enforcement official. And we know he's lived in Florida, Ohio and recently in New Jersey and that he's a green card holder, according to a official in Brooklyn.

MARTIN: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio came out pretty quickly after this and said this looks like an act of terror. Can you explain what law enforcement officials there - what do they point to as evidence of that?

WANG: Well, New York's police commissioner, James O'Neill, said that the suspect made a statement when he got out of the truck. Now, O'Neill wouldn't confirm exactly what the suspect said, but the commissioner said that that statement plus the way that this attack was carried out - driving a large vehicle into a crowd, which ISIS has promoted and has published instructions for online - that's why the New York officials are calling it a terrorist event.

And I should note that NBC and other media outlets have reported that a note was found in the truck claiming that the suspect carried out this attack for the Islamic State. But NPR, so far, has not confirmed that at this point.

MARTIN: And this path - I mean, this is a thoroughfare, if you will, for pedestrians. I mean, there's so many bicyclists. People use it to commute, to just walk and enjoy the view along the Hudson River. What do you know about the people who were there that day and the victims of this attack?

WANG: Well, we know that five of the victims were Argentine citizens, and one of them injured was also an Argentine citizen. This was confirmed by Argentina's foreign ministry. All of them were men, part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation from their university. And we're hoping to learn more about the other victims later today.

And as you said, this area brings a lot of tourists to that point because it is close to the World Trade Center memorial, also some malls and very busy bike path there to get very close to the Hudson River - great views. And we'll find out more. Right now it's a active crime scene, and we'll see what the investigation - where it's at from the - get an update from the police commissioner later this morning.

MARTIN: All right, NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reporting this morning. Thanks so much, Hansi.

WANG: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.