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Cops: NYC Attacker Is Uber Driver Who Gave 1,400 Rides

Sayfullo Saipov came to US in 2010
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2017 1:14 AM CDT
Updated Nov 1, 2017 3:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – The man who killed eight people Thursday in what's believed to be New York City's deadliest terror attack since 9/11 has been identified as Sayfullo Saipov, an Uber driver who came to the US from Afghanistan in 2010. The 29-year-old, who was shot by police but survived after driving a pickup truck down a bike path near the World Trade Center, leaving a trail of bodies behind him, is a legal US resident who lived in Paterson, NJ, with his wife and three children, law enforcement officials tell ABC News. He worked as a trucker as well as for Uber, which says he passed background checks and gave 1,400 rides over the last six months. The latest developments:

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  • ISIS connection. Law enforcement sources tell CNN that a note found in Saipov's rented Home Depot truck said the attack was carried out in the name of ISIS. Witnesses say Saipov shouted "Allahu Akbar" after emerging from the vehicle, carrying what turned out to be a pellet gun and a paintball gun.
  • Hero cop. The rampage was stopped when Saipov was shot in the abdomen by NYPD officer Ryan Nash, 28, who'd been responding to a report of a suicidal girl at a nearby high school, the New York Daily News reports. Police say Nash opened fire when Saipov refused to drop his weapons. Authorities say Saipov was hospitalized in critical condition but is expected to survive.
  • "This incident is over." Authorities say that despite the note mentioning ISIS, this appears to have been an isolated incident, the New York Times reports. "There's no evidence that suggests a wider plot or a wider scheme," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters. NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill said: "This incident is over."

  • Trump reaction. President Trump tweeted that it "looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person." He later added: "I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!"
  • The victims. The eight people killed included five friends from Argentina who were on vacation in New York, the Guardian reports. A woman from Belgium was also killed. At least 11 others, including children, were injured.
  • Uber statement. Uber confirmed late Tuesday that Saipov was one of its drivers. "We are horrified by this senseless act of violence," the company said in a statement. "Our hearts are with the victims and their families. We have reached out to law enforcement to provide our assistance."

  • Trail of terror. The New York Times has a map of the Hudson River bike path the suspect drove along for around 14 blocks before turning onto a street and hitting a school bus. The attack started around 3pm, an hour after Saipov rented the truck.
  • Tight security. New York City's Halloween parade went ahead as scheduled after the attack under very tight security, with extra police officers along the route and sand trucks stationed as protective barriers, the AP reports.
  • "Really calm." When he first came to the US, Saipov lived in Cincinnati, where he registered a trucking business, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. A women whose family Saipov stayed with remembers him as a "really calm" man who "only used to come home and rest and leave and go back to work." She says he ended up moving to Florida after a few weeks with the family.
(Read more New York City stories.)

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