Trump condemns ‘sick and deranged’ driver after New York killings

President stops short of calling incident in which man drove on bike path a terrorist attack

Several people may have been hit by a vehicle in lower Manhattan at about the time of a reported shooting, and at least five people were hurt according to local reports. Video: Reuters/ @useJeff/ Ricardo Mantilla

 

US president Donald Trump condemned a “sick and deranged person” who struck and killed people with a vehicle in Manhattan on Tuesday, though he stopped short of calling the incident a terrorist attack.

“In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!,” Trump said in a post to Twitter in the afternoon.

The president was briefed on the incident earlier in the day by White House chief of staff John Kelly, and press secretary Sarah Sanders said he would be updated as more details became known. White House officials did not comment directly on the investigation.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected,” Sanders said in a statement. The president’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, tweeted that the news was “heartbreaking” and she was “praying for the victims”.

Bike path

The New York Police Department said a vehicle entered a bike path just north of Chambers Street in the Tribeca neighbourhood and struck multiple people on the path. The vehicle then continued south and struck another vehicle.

“There are several fatalities and numerous people injured,” the NYPD said in a statement.

Police said the suspect was in custody. He was shot when he exited the vehicle while brandishing imitation firearms.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said in a post to Twitter that he was travelling to the scene. Officials cautioned that their early information about the incident was preliminary and said more information was to follow.

–(Bloomberg)