Hours after a Home Depot truck drove down a bike path in Lower Manhattan and struck several people, leaving several people dead and even more injured, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio gave a speech calling for unity and resilience. Speaking to the assembled media while flanked by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYPD commissioner James O'Neill, de Blasio declared the incident an act of terrorism, and called on citizens to remain undeterred in the face of the violence.
De Blasio began by calling it a "very painful day in our city," and a "horrible tragedy" before confirming that it's being viewed as an act of terrorism.
It’s a very painful day in our city. A horrible tragedy on the west side. Let me be clear based on the information we have at this time: this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror, aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them.
De Blasio then reassured and urged New Yorkers not to allow their spirits to be broken by the attack, calling his city's people "resilient" and saying they won't be intimidated.
"We know that this action was intended to break our spirit," de Blasio said. "But we also know New Yorkers are strong, New Yorkers are resilient, and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence and an act meant to intimidate us."
De Blasio concluded his remarks by once again urging his citizens to go about their lives and not abandon or change their plans out of fear. To the contrary, he urged New Yorkers to live their lives as they normally would.
The most important thing, as Governor Cuomo said, as Commissioner O'Neill said, people should go about their business knowing that NYPD is out in force, with our partner agencies tonight and throughout the week, very important additional measures are going to be taken for people's safety. But the bottom line is, we are going to go about our business in this city, we are not going to be deterred.
According to Cuomo, law enforcement authorities do not believe the attack was part of a "wider plot or wider scheme." While the death toll has risen in the immediate aftermath of the attack, and could therefore increase further, de Blasio confirmed that at least eight people were killed.