29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov was charged with material support of a terrorist organization and violence and destruction of a motor vehicle.
According to a criminal complaint filed against Saipov, planning for the attack began a year ago with Halloween being chosen because he believed more people would be on the street.
Three of the injured have been released from local hospitals as of Wednesday, according to New York Fire Department commissioner Daniel Nigro, with nine people remaining hospitalized. Four of them are in critical but stable condition. Injuries ranged from the amputation of two limbs to serious head, neck, and back trauma.
Of the dead, two victims were from the New York City metro area, with one being from Belgium, along with five tourists from Argentina who were in New York for a 30-year high school reunion. They have been identified as:
- 23-year-old Nicholas Cleves of Manhattan
- 32-year-old Darren Drake of New Milford, NJ
- 31-year-old Anne Laure Decadt of Belgium
- 47-year-old Hernan Mendoza of Argentina
- 47-year-old Diego Angelini of Argentina
- 47-year-old Alejandro Pagnucco of Argentina
- 48-year-old Ariel Erlij of Argentina
- 47-year-old Hernan Ferruchi of Argentina
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident a “particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.”
Saipov was taken into custody after being shot by police.
Saipov drove a pickup truck that he rented from a New Jersey Home Depot at 2:06 p.m. Tuesday, according to police, and crossed into Manhattan on the George Washington Bridge. At 3:04 p.m., a camera caught him driving 20 blocks on a bike path in Lower Manhattan, before he jumped out with fake guns and was shot by police.
According to police, investigators found several knives and a handwritten note supportive of the Islamic State.
“The gist of the note was that the Islamic State would endure forever,” New York Police Department deputy commissioner for intelligence & counterterrorism John Miller said.
A former Uber driver
Saipov entered the United States in March 2010 and was a legal permanent resident. He was an Uber driver in New Jersey, taking over 1,400 trips in the last six months.
Uber released a statement on Monday, pledging their support to provide assistance to law enforcement:
“We are horrified by this senseless act of violence,” an Uber spokesperson said. “Our hearts are with the victims and their families. We have reached out to law enforcement to provide our full assistance.”