Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old man, hit several innocent people with a rental truck on Tuesday afternoon, killing 8 people and injuring at least 11 others.
Saipov was in custody at Bellevue Hospital on Manhattan's East Side after being shot and arrested by police. Saipov is reportedly an Uzbek citizen who has been in the United States on a green card since 2010. His ID said he was from Tampa, Florida.
Saipov moved to the U.S. from Uzbekistan about five or six years ago, Dilnoza Abdusamatova told the Washington Post. Abdusamatova said Saipov stayed with her family in Cincinnati, Ohio for his first two weeks in the country because their fathers were friends.
An anonymous law enforcement official told The New York Times that Saipov entered the country through JFK International Airport and had obtained a green card.
Saipov headed to Florida to start a trucking business, Abdusamatova said, adding that she believes he got married a year after arriving in the U.S. and may now have two children. Around that same time, she said, he cut off contact with them.
“He stopped talking to us when he got married,” Abdusamatova told the Post.
While living in Fort Meyers, Florida, Saipov met Kobiljon Matkarov, another Uzbek immigrant, who told the Times that Saipov was “a very good person when I knew him,” he said. “He liked the U.S. … all the time he was happy and talking like everything is OK. He did not seem like a terrorist, but I did not know him from the inside.”
While the terror suspect’s history is still being investigated, it appears he was known to federal authorities, three officials told the Times. However, it is still unclear if he was being investigated himself or for being a family member or associate of someone who was.
Saipov eventually moved to Paterson, New Jersey, just about 20 miles from New York City, where he became an Uber driver. An official of the ride-hailing service told the Times that Saipov had passed its background check.
“We have been in contact with the FBI and have offered our assistance,” they said, adding that they are reviewing Saipov’s history with Uber “and at this time, we have not identified any related concerning safety reports.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saipov driving the vehicle on the bike path was a "lone wolf attack" and that there was no evidence it was part of a wider plot.
Witnesses said the man emerged from the truck and yelled "Allahu Akbar." When asked about it, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the suspect made a statement, but didn't confirm Saipov yelled the phrase, which translates to "God is the greatest" in Arabic.
Police said he had a BB gun and a paint gun with him.
Six of the people were pronounced dead at the scene, and two others were transported to the hospital and later died, officials said.
President Donald Trump tweeted about the attack, calling Saipov "sick and deranged."
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.!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2017