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8 dead after truck hits cyclists in New York City ‘act of terror’

Click to play video: 'New York man records aftermath of incident in Lower Manhattan'
New York man records aftermath of incident in Lower Manhattan
WATCH ABOVE: New York man records aftermath of incident in Lower Manhattan – Oct 31, 2017

Latest news: 

  • Argentine citizens were among the dead; identities not revealed
  • Reports of note dedicating attack to ISIS found in truck
  • NYC mayor Bill de Blasio called it a “cowardly act of terror”
  • Gunman identified as 29-year-old suspect Sayfullo Saipovis

At least eight people are dead and 11 seriously injured after a man drove a pickup truck down a busy Manhattan bike path Tuesday afternoon.

READ MORE: Vehicle attacks a growing trend in global terrorism

Police say 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipovis is in custody after what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called an “act of terror.”

Authorities say the truck travelled south down the path, hitting cyclists along the way. It then collided with a school bus, prompting the driver of the truck to emerge from the vehicle waving firearms and shouting “Allahu Akbar.”

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The suspect was then shot in the abdomen by police. Reports say NYPD officer Ryan Nash was the officer who shot him.

Six men were killed at the scene, New York Fire Department officials confirmed. Two others died after being transported to hospital. Eleven people were taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

There were two adults and two children on the school bus hit by the truck, but their condition wasn’t known.

Authorities said the suspect had been carrying a paintball gun and a pellet gun, both recovered at the scene.

Sources told CNN the man was shot by police.  Police said they aren’t searching for any other suspects.

The suspect was transported to hospital.  Multiple news outlets named him as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, from Florida.

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U.S. government sources told Reuters law enforcement is investigating the incident for terrorism. The FBI will be joining the NYPD to help in the investigation.

There was a note in the truck which said the suspect’s actions were done for ISIS, NBC News reported, citing law enforcement officials.

WATCH: Students saw bodies from classroom during New York City truck incident

Click to play video: 'Students saw bodies from classroom during New York City truck incident'
Students saw bodies from classroom during New York City truck incident

Cities around the globe have been on alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. The Islamic State has been encouraging its followers to mow down people, and Britain, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks in recent months and years. In Canada, a police officer was stabbed and four pedestrians were struck down by a fleeing U-Haul truck on earlier this month.

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The victims haven’t been identified, but Argentina’s foreign minister said the dead included Argentine citizens.

“This is a tragedy of the greatest magnitude,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said.

He also said the police on scene should be commended for stopping “the carnage moments after it began.”

“Our first responders did an extraordinary job,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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Cuomo called the incident a “lone wolf” attack by an individual “who meant to cause pain and harm.”

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While there is no evidence of any additional threat, de Blasio said there would be extensive deployments of additional police officers on city streets.

“Want to ask all New Yorkers to be vigilant,” de Blasio said. “We ask all New Yorkers to live by: ‘if you see something say something.'”

A Halloween parade scheduled for later on in the night was to proceed as normal, officials said. Additional resources like blocker vehicles and sand trucks will be present.

READ MORE: Terror attacks: Does Canada need extra vehicle rental checks?

Despite the increased security following the attack, Cuomo encouraged residents to “live your life.”

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“We go forward together, we go forward stronger than ever,” said Cuomo.

Police stressed that the information was preliminary and could change.

The suspect was driving a rental Home Depot truck.

“He was screaming in the street,” one witness said. “He looked frustrated panicked, confused.”

Uber driver Chen Yi said he saw the truck plow into people in the bike lane.

“I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” Yi said.

U.S. government sources told Reuters law enforcement is investigating the incident for terrorism. The FBI will be joining the NYPD to help in the investigation.

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NYC BIKE PATH INCIDENT

Witnesses said they heard gunshots in the area of Chambers and West streets. The incident took place near a high school, and blocks away from the World Trade Center memorial.

Police are currently on scene and the investigation is ongoing.

 

Government response

President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident, the White House said.

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“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected,” spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Trump responded on Twitter, saying the attack “looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”

He also said on Twitter “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”

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In a statement sent later Tuesday, Trump thanked the first responders on scene and said any law enforcement investigation would have his full support.

“My Administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the statement from the White House read.

Justin Trudeau said he was monitoring the situation very closely, and offered his condolences to the victims’ families.

The mayor of London, who has also experienced vehicle attacks related to terrorism offered his condolences after the incident.

“London stands in grief and solidarity with the great city of New York tonight after the despicable and cowardly terrorist attack in Manhattan.” he wrote.

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“New Yorkers are strong and resilient — I know they will not be vowed by this assault on the innocent, and on our shared values and way of life.”

 *With files from Global News’ Tania Kohut and the Associated Press 

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