Judy Woodruff: At least eight people are dead and 11 or more injured in Lower Manhattan today after a rented pickup truck plowed into a busy bicycle path.
The incident happened a few blocks away from the World Trade Center Memorial site. The New York City Police Department reported that a 29-year-old male suspect was taken into custody. Mayor Bill de Blasio said they were increasing security in the area, and he urged people to be vigilant.
Mayor Bill De Blasio, New York: Based on the information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror, aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives, who had no idea what was about to hit them.
Judy Woodruff: For the very latest, we turn to special correspondent Marcia Biggs in Manhattan. Marcia, what do we know about what happened?
Marcia Biggs:, at 3 : So, Judy, this is still a developing investigation. It's only a couple hours old. What we know is that 05 p.m., a 29-year-old male entered the West Side Esplanade, which is a bike path here on the West Side of Manhattan along the river. He entered in a Home Depot rented pickup truck at high speeds at Houston Street, mowing down pedestrians, driving about 16 blocks, before colliding with a school bus.
Then he exited the vehicle brandishing what appeared to be two weapons, what appeared to be a pellet gun and a paintball gun, before NYPD officers shot him in the abdomen. He was then taken to the hospital. There are eight confirmed dead and over a dozen injured, and they expect more injuries to come.
Judy Woodruff: So, Marcia Biggs, heard Mayor de Blasio say it is an act of terror. Do we know what they're basing that on?
Marcia Biggs: Judy, we don't know much. We were — it was confirmed that it was an act of terror, as you said, as we heard, but it was also stressed that this is a lone wolf, that there is no wider plot understood, that also it was reported that there were witnesses saying that he had shouted out "God is great" in Arabic, but the NYPD wouldn't confirm that.
Judy Woodruff: And, Marcia, we know this is a very busy area. We assume there was some security there when this happened.
Marcia Biggs:, Well, the officers reacted very, very quickly. Commissioner Ray Kelly stressed today in an interview that I saw that the suspect didn't use those weapons, that those weapons may have been inoperable, if they were real at all. The NYPD was the only one firing shots, and they shot him very, very quickly, and arrested him. We don't have any other information about him other than his age. But the area around -- in this neighborhood where I'm standing, which is just a few blocks from where it happened, was immediately put into lockdown mode. The high school nearby was put into lockdown mode. This was 3:00 in the afternoon, so school was about to be let out. This is a very busy neighborhood. We're just in the middle of the Financial District. It's also a very family-friendly neighborhood, a lot of residents in this area, schools, so it was a very quick lockdown, Judy.
Judy Woodruff: And I was just being reminded the police chief is named O'Neill. Marcia, finally, we know this is Halloween. A lot of people, assuming children, are going to be out on the streets tonight. What are they saying to people about whether they can go out or not?
Marcia Biggs: Well, both the mayor and the governor stressed New Yorkers need to be New Yorkers, New York is strong, we will not let this affect us.
The Halloween Parade, which is a very, very famous and raucous, fun time in the West Village, is still apparently going ahead as planned, although it is not quite in this area. It's a little bit northeast of here, about a 15-minute walk, I would say, so it's not right in this area. But it was stressed in this press conference, New Yorkers need to be New Yorkers — Judy.
Judy Woodruff: Yes. Marcia Biggs reporting for us from Lower Manhattan. Again, a reminder that things can change in an instant. Thank you, Marcia.
And we're going to be updating all of you with this latest on the New York City attack and hear more about how law enforcement evaluates acts of terror. That will be at the end of the program.