Update 3: The driver that killed 1 & injured 22, was apparently high on synthetic marijuana K-2, and according to the Post, he was out for blood, and looking for a suicide-by-cop.
The Bronx man who plowed his car into a Times Square crowd, killing a teen tourist and injuring 22 others, wanted to commit murder and then wanted cops to kill him, police sources said. “You were supposed to shoot me! I wanted to kill them,” Richard Rojas, 26, told police, according to sources cited by the Post.
NEW: Times Square driver told cops. I wanted to kill them. https://t.co/fyHfK2dwNX— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) May 18, 2017
The killer, who’s been arrested twice for DWI, wasn’t drunk when he went on the rampage in the heart of the Big Apple, a high-ranking police official said. Rojas is currently being tested for drugs, as he appeared to be high, according to sources.He served in the US Navy from 2011 to 2015, and was not honorably discharged, sources said.
A friend said Rojas was never the same after he returned from his military service, and took up drinking to cope with the stress. “He finally came home, and it was hard for him to find a job,” said Harrison Ramos, 30. “He was having a lot of bad nightmares. He was talking crazy. He was acting strange.”
Ramos added he would buy alcohol “to forget about all that stuff.”
“He should’ve gotten professional help,” he said. “He would talk about demons and devils and conspiracy theories.”
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Update 2: Speaking at a Times Square press conference, mayor Bill de Blasio says "There is no indication that this was an act of terror."
Separately, the NYPD says that the 26 yr old driver, identified as Richard Rojas from the Bronx, was traveling South on 7 Av made u-turn onto West sidewalk. Went 3 blocks on sidewalk before hitting pillar.
NYPD says that the 26 yr old driver traveling South on 7 Av made u-turn onto West sidewalk. Went 3 blocks on sidewalk before hitting pillar.— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) May 18, 2017
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Update: in a separate incideint, Breaking911 reports that 5 People were just struck by vehicle, 1 DOA, 3 likely to die / very critical on Broadway & Castleton Ave. It is unclear if the two incidents are linked.
BREAKING IN STATEN ISLAND, NYC: 5 People just struck by vehicle; 1 DOA, 3 likely to die / very critical. Broadway & Castleton Ave.— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 18, 2017
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A car jumped a curb and plowed into a busy sidewalk in Times Square during the lunchtime rush, killing one person and injuring several others on Thursday, sources said. The driver is in custody and being tested for alcohol. One person is dead, and at least 13 injured.
Reuters witnesses said that the driver's actions "appeared intentional" and that the vehicles "drove against traffic" and onto the sidewalk, striking pedestrians.
The crash happened at Broadway and West 45th Street at about 12 p.m., officials said. FDNY said 13 patients were being treated at the scene.
According to NYPD, the driver is 26 year old Richard Rojas from the Bronx.
The vehicle that struck pedestrians was a red sedan and the driver has been arrested and removed.
The arrest of driver shown below:
And yet despite the immediate arrest, in the past 30 minutes the NYPD has already figured out that the incident was not terrorism:
- CBS SAYS TIMES SQUARE INCIDENT NOT CONNECTED TO TERRORISM, CITING NEW YORK CITY POLICE
A video of the arrest below:
WATCH THIS - BREAKING VIDEO: NYPD taking driver from Times Square incident into custody pic.twitter.com/lP0yyfMUZt— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 18, 2017
A live feed from Pix 11 below:
According to the NYPD, the car lost control on 7th Avenue between 42 and 43rd streets, and an investigation is underway.
NYPD: Car "lost control" on 7th in Times Square between 42nd/43rd. People injured. Investigation underway. Driver in custody. .— David Shuster (@DavidShuster) May 18, 2017
The New York Police Department closed off the area. A Reuters witness said at least 10 people were being treated for injuries on the ground after the collision at the Midtown Manhattan tourist site.
MORE: At least 10 people receiving treatment after vehicle strikes pedestrians in New York's Times Square - Reuters witness— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 18, 2017
Just heard about car hitting pedestrians on the sidewalk in Times Square. I'm at Thomson Reuters and lobby is locked down. #nyc— Nia Armstrong (@niaarmstrong) May 18, 2017
While the NYPD is initially claiming that the incident was not an act of terrorism, in a clear bid to preserve calm, we would recommend waiting for a definitive conclusion.