This undated photo provided by St. Charles County Department of Corrections via KMOV shows the Sayfullo Saipov. (Source: St. Charles County Department of Corrections/KMOV via AP)
Heavily-armed police guard as revelers march during the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. New York City's always-surreal Halloween parade marched under the shadow of a terror attack. (Source: AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
(RNN) - Eight people are dead and several more are seriously injured on Tuesday after a man drove a truck the wrong way down a bike path in Lower Manhattan, deliberately mowing down cyclists. Officials are investigating the incident as a terrorist attack.
Among the dead were five people from Argentina, and a Belgian, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday night, citing foreign ministers of the two nations. The suspect left a note in the rental truck claiming he was inspired by ISIS to carry out the carnage, CNN is reporting.
President Donald Trump announced he plans to strengthen the extreme vetting program for immigrants that is already in place.
I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!
The 29-year-old suspect was shot and taken to a hospital where he remains in custody. Two law enforcement sources told the New York Times that he came to the country in 2010, and that he rented the truck in New Jersey. He is in surgery and is expected to survive, CNN is reporting.
The suspect has been identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov of Tampa, FL. He is originally from Uzbekistan.
The New York Times reported that the white box truck, which had Home Depot decals on the hood and sides, drove about 20 blocks down the bike path hitting several people from behind. The driver crashed the truck into a school bus and exited the vehicle brandishing a paintball gun and a pellet gun; officers shot him in the abdomen and took him into custody.
Two law enforcement officers told the Times that the suspect was shouting "Allahu Akbar," which means "God is great" in Arabic.
Trump responded to the attack with a series of tweets, offering prayers for the victims and a reference to ISIS fighters.
We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!
New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, speaking at a news conference, said, “Based on information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there is no reason to suspect a broader plot or scheme. Police said they are not looking for any more suspects.
Currently there is one person in custody. No others outstanding. All information is preliminary as the investigation is ongoing. pic.twitter.com/nsaUgZ8MJH
The event unfolded in the Tribeca neighborhood in lower Manhattan a few blocks from the World Trade Center, on a street running alongside the Hudson River on the west side. Nearby Stuyvesant High School was immediately locked down.
People took to social media to report that they were hearing gunshots.
Video from the scene showed several bodies and crushed bicycles strewn along the bike path on Chambers and West streets.
Saipov lived in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, as late as 2015, reports Cleveland station WOIO. Steven Newman of Cuyahoga Falls said he met Saipov through the neighborhood.
"He didn't stand out. He just seemed like another person, really. I'm completely shocked," Newman said.
Saipov also lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2010,WXIX reports. Saipov’s father and a man in the area were friends and allowed him to stay with them for approximately two weeks. They say he wanted to stay in the city to get a green card. He got a job at a local Taco Bell, and then left. They say he was headed to Florida.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Saipov registered a business under the name Sayf Motors Inc. in 2011.
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