CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police have heightened security throughout the city following an incident Tuesday in lower Manhattan, during which a motorist deliberately plowed into pedestrians, killing at least eight.
The NYPD says a man intentionally drove a rented Home Depot truck onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial, hit several people and a school bus, and emerged from the vehicle screaming and brandishing firearms.
Chicago Police say there is no known threat in the city, adding, “Additional police officers will be placed in high-traffic areas downtown and at parks, out of an abundance of caution.” Shortly after the incident, officers could be seen patrolling State and Randolph equipped with high-powered rifles.
The Chicago Division of the FBI also issued a statement saying they are working closely with Chicago Police, and are not aware of any threat to the Northern district of Illinois.
Law enforcement officials, as well as witnesses, say the driver, 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, of Tampa, Florida, yelled “Allahu Akbar” — God is great in Arabic — as he exited the truck.
An officer shot Saipov — who came to the U.S. in 2010 from Uzbekistan — in the abdomen. He was subsequently transported to a hospital.
Despite some initial reports of gunfire, Saipov had a fake gun. In fact, some witnesses thought the whole incident was a Halloween stunt at first. A paintball gun and a pellet gun were both recovered at the scene.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement following the attack:
“Chicago stands in solidarity with New York City in the wake of today’s horrific attack. The thoughts and prayers of every Chicagoan are with the victims, their families and all New Yorkers on this difficult day. The strength and resilience of the great people of New York will outshine the darkness and cowardice of this evil act of terror.”
The White House also put forth a statement Tuesday evening saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today’s terrorist attack in New York City and their families. 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. We offer our thanks to the first responders who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage. I will continue to follow developments closely.”
Furthermore, Trump took to Twitter several times. He initially tweeted, “In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”
“We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!” another tweet said.
As of Wednesday, 12 other people had serious but non-life threatening injuries, according to the NYPD. This is the deadliest act of terror in New York City since 9/11.
The New York victims were on the mind of revelers at the 21st annual Halloween Parade in Chicago’s Boy’s Town neighborhood on the North Side.
Parade-goers told WBBM’s Bob Roberts they were not deterred and were determined to enjoy themselves.