Charges are pending against a U-Haul truck driver who went on a rampage through Brooklyn Monday morning, killing one person, and hurting eight others. One of the nine victims succumbed to their injuries at an area hospital Monday evening.
The carnage began at around 10:50 a.m. on Feb. 13 when the driver first plowed into a pedestrian at 55th Street and Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park before going on to strike seven others in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights — including three e-bike riders. A police officer was also injured in the mayhem.
The suspect was finally apprehended about 30 minutes later near the Battery Tunnel.
The NYPD said that all victims were taken to area hospitals, with two in critical condition as of publication, two in serious condition and the other four with minor injuries. However, as of 9:30 p.m. Monday night, one victim — a 44-year-old man who cops say was struck near Fifth Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway — had died, and a ninth victim had been identified.
The rampage fueled concerns about a possible terrorist attack; it took place on the same day as when a federal jury convened in Lower Manhattan to determine whether Sayfullo Saipov, an Islamic extremist, should get the death penalty for fatally striking eight people on a bike path — with a truck — in an act of terrorism in Manhattan in 2017.
But later on Monday, NYPD officials allayed those concerns, saying they were unsure what the driver’s motive was, but that they don’t believe it was terrorism.
“At this time, we have no indication that there is any terrorism involvement in this incident,” said Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, who held a press conference where the suspect was nabbed. “However, as always, we will continue to investigate.”
Police were called out to the scene after the first person had been struck — a pedestrian who was left with a broken leg. The U-Haul then continued its path of destruction when it plowed into a pedestrian at Senator Street and Fifth Avenue and then a male on an e-bike at Fifth Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway, leaving him in critical condition at a local hospital, where he later died.
The truck continued, cops said, traveling up and down the busy thoroughfare before striking another e-bike rider on Bay Ridge Parkway and Seventh Avenue, and more people at 12th Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue, according to police. The vehicle then continued and struck a pedestrian and a police officer at 72nd Street and Third Avenue.
The vehicle came to a halt when a NYPD vehicle mounted the sidewalk in the vicinity of Columbia Street and Hamilton Avenue in Red Hook, blocking the truck.
Cops took the man into custody, and he was being questioned at the 68th Precinct.
Sewell did not provide any details about the suspect. However, sources say, the suspect is a 62-year-old man.
The victims range in age from 30 to 66, according to police.
Additional reporting by Meaghan McGoldrick