At least six people have been killed in New York after the driver of a truck mowed down people on a pedestrian and cycle path in Lower Manhattan.
A man who emerged from the vehicle brandishing imitation guns was shot and arrested by police officers.
Police urged people to avoid the area as a major emergency services operation got under way.
US police are describing the incident as a terror attack. New York City’s mayor and governor are at the scene.
One eyewitness, identified as “Eugene,” told ABC Channel 7 that he saw a white pick-up truck driving fast down the cycle path alongside the West Side Highway, near Stuyvesant High School, at full speed and hitting a number of people.
He also reported hearing about nine or 10 shots.
The New York Police Department described what had happened in a series of tweets:
- “Earlier a vehicle entered the West St. pedestrian/bike path a few blocks north of Chambers St.
- “The vehicle struck multiple people on the path. There are several fatalities and numerous people injured.
- “The vehicle continued south striking another vehicle. The suspect exited the vehicle displaying imitation firearms & was shot by NYPD
- “The suspect is in custody. This is preliminary, more information to follow.”
Another eyewitness, Carina, was picking up her son from a nearby school. She told local TV station WCBS-TV: “I could see a lot of smoke and as I got to the corner that’s when I started seeing people on the west side highway hitting the ground and I saw this guy…I don’t know what he was holding. It looked like a rifle but it had like a…looked like a metal canister.
“It looked like one of those air guns in a weird way. I didn’t know what it was but he was definitely aiming it and it was right there, right by the school.
“So immediately everyone just started screaming ‘SHOOTING! SHOOTING!’ and we all ran. We ran as fast as we could and everyone was scrambling to get their child and scrambling to get into the cafeteria.
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