The nation reeled in the face of another violent attack that claimed the lives of several people Tuesday afternoon. As New York City geared up for Halloween night, a man drove a vehicle down a popular — and crowded — bike path for several city blocks before exiting the truck and displaying "imitation" firearms. The updates from the Manhattan attack, which took place not far from the National Sept. 11 Memorial, show a devastating scene that police are investigating as potential terrorism.
Initial reports stated that there might have been a mass shooting outside of a New York City high school, but there were also reports of a vehicle attack ramming pedestrians nearby. The incidents were soon connected as police determined that the man who had driven down the path then crashed the vehicle into a school bus near Stuyvesant High School, where students were just getting out of school for the day. The suspect exited the truck with what appeared to be a gun. A student took video of the suspect being confronted by police.
Like in any breaking news situation, information about the attack has been consistently changing since it was first reported. Here is what we know about the incident in New York City so far and what comes next.
The Suspect Is In Custody
The New York Police Department confirmed that an officer shot the suspect, who is a 29-year-old man, after he exited the vehicle with what looked like a gun. He was hit in the stomach and was then taken into police custody.
The Guns Were Apparently Fake
While the situation was first reported as a shooting, the NYPD said that the suspect was found with "imitation" firearms.
"After colliding with the school bus the man exited holding two firearms," the NYPD tweeted. The department later added, "A paintball gun and pellet gun were recovered from the scene."
It's Being Investigated As Terrorism — Here's Why
Police Commissioner of New York City James O'Neill said that the NYPD and the FBI are investigating the incident as a potential terrorist attack. Referring to the fact that it was a vehicle attack, O'Neill said, "if you look at the M.O. [modus operandi] of the attack it's consistent with what's been going on." He also cited a report that the suspect yelled an Arabic phrase after he exited the truck as a report that "made us label this a terrorist attack."
The Death Toll Has Risen
Initial numbers indicated that six people had been killed and 15 people had been injured in the attack. But in a press conference a couple of hours after the incident took place, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that eight people had been killed and approximately a dozen had been injured.
Trump Responded Differently Than He Did To Las Vegas
Trump's first reaction to the news of the attack was markedly different from how he first responded to news of the Las Vegas shooting, which left more than 50 people dead and hundreds injured.
"In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!" Trump wrote, 90 minutes after the attack occurred. When the Las Vegas shooting happened, it was five hours before Trump wrote online, "My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!"
Vehicle Attacks Have Seemed To Increase Lately
As ABC News pointed out, the number of vehicle attacks around the world seem to be happening more and more. Generally inspired or claimed by ISIS, the attacks take place in public areas, often where people are enjoying themselves.
There have been several vehicle attacks in England, and a recent one in Barcelona, but one of the attacks people might remember the most is the incident in Nice, France, on Bastille Day. During that attack, more than 80 people were killed when a large truck plowed through a group of people who were watching a firework celebration.
There Is No Evidence Of Future Attacks
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference that there is "no evidence to suggest a wider plot, a wider scheme."
While there had been rumors that the city's Halloween parade would be canceled (it went on as planned), Cuomo told residents to not change their plans because of the incident. "Be New Yorkers and live your life," he said.