A terrorist in a rental truck sped for nearly a mile down a popular, bike-only path in lower Manhattan on Tuesday — killing eight people in the shadow of the World Trade Center and then shouting: “Allahu Akbar.”
“This was an act of terror,” Mayor de Blasio declared at an evening press conference.
“A particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at innocent people going about their lives.”
Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan, was shot by a cop after getting out of his car at Chambers and West streets with two realistic-looking guns while screaming “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for God is good, police sources said.
“He was running around Chambers and somebody started to chase him,” said a 14-year-old student at the nearby Stuyvesant HS, which was just letting out for the day.
“Everybody starts running.”
Saipov’s bloody, 17-block trail of terror began at 3:05 p.m., when he turned onto the bike path at West Houston Street in a Home Depot flatbed pickup truck he’d rented in Passaic, NJ, police sources said.
The maniac, who was carrying a Florida ID, rammed his car into nearly two dozen innocent cyclists and pedestrians as he sped south on the typically serene path along the Hudson River.
“The Home Depot truck starting running people over,” said witness Nelson Arroyo, 58. “I heard a boom boom, a crushing noise from the bikes. People were sitting down crying. I saw two areas of blood.”
Saipov collided with a school bus at Chambers Street, injuring two adults and two children inside.
He then got out with the pellet and paintball guns — sending panicked bystanders fleeing through the streets, sources said.
Tom Gay said he was walking near West Street and Warren Street when a woman came barreling around the corner shouting, “He has a gun! He has a gun!”
The school photographer spotted Saipov, who he described as a slender man in a blue track suit, running his way.
The man giving chase was a cop, who fired at least five shots. Saipov fell to the ground, still raising his weapon in the air until the officer kicked it out of his hand.
“The uniformed police officer assigned to the 1st Precinct, confronted the subject and shot him in the abdomen,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said, adding that he “was wounded and transported to a local hospital.”
Meanwhile, bodies covered in white sheets were left scattered on the path amid the crumpled remains of their rental bicycles, which included Citibikes.