By Sydney Lewis
On the afternoon of Tuesday, October 31, a terrorist attack had occurred in the streets of New York, leaving eight dead and eleven injured. Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29-year-old Uzbekistan native and New Jersey resident, allegedly drove a Home Depot rental truck onto a congested bike lane in the streets of Lower Manhattan, a few blocks from the World Trade Center.
As the truck drove down the bike lane, it collided with a school bus, stopping the suspect in his tracks. After the impact with the bus, witnesses claimed to have heard Saipov yell the words “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is Greater.” While getting out of the truck, Saipov gave off the impression of possessing firearms, which was later found out to be a pellet and a paintball gun, causing law enforcement to take action by shooting him in the abdomen. Saipov was then sent to the hospital and is now out of surgery. Officers had the chance to speak with him before his surgery, but it is still unknown if he said anything to them. Local authorities subsequently found a note near the Home Depot truck, claiming the attack was made in the name of ISIS.
Unfortunately, the school bus that was hit was not empty. The bus that carried special-needs student from two school areas was completely smashed on one side of the bus. A 14 year girl named Olivia Raykhman, viewed the smashed school bus after the impact. According to The New York Times, Raykhman says“[The fireman] were sawing through a school bus window. They broke all of the windows and were trying to pull kids out. There was a man covering a child with a blanket. There was one kid who was stuck,” she said. The children were traumatized by the scene they have just witnessed
A worker from Home Depot explained that one of the company’s trucks was part of the incident in lower Manhattan and said the company is “cooperating with authorities” in the investigation.
Eugene Duffy, a witness at the attack, said that he was leaving from work and heard a scream, he goes on to say that “I look down and I see a white pickup truck a couple of more blocks down in the bike path,” he says. “Automatically, I know something’s wrong. Then, as I go down more toward where the girl is screaming, I see two gentlemen laying there and they have tire tracks marked across their bodies. You could tell they both weren’t here. I thought this area was terrorism.”
Six people were dead at the scene and the other two were later announced dead at the hospital. At least 11 others were sent to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. Five of the people that were dead were part of an Argentinians group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of graduates of the Polytechnic School in the United States. On November 7, relatives and friends held the first funerals of the five Argentinians in their hometown of Rosario.
President Donald Trump tweeted that the incident “looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person.” Later he tweets, “My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!”
The New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, said that “this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror, [it] aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them.”