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At least eight people have been killed and several others injured after a vehicle plowed into a pedestrian and cycle path in New York City, US police and local residents say, with reports of gunfire heard in the area.
The incident took place in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday, when a pick-up truck drove the wrong way down the bike path alongside the West Side Highway at full speed and struck several cyclists near the World Trade Center memorial.
Witnesses said bodies were lying motionless on the cycle path outside Stuyvesant High School, one of the city’s public schools, and that they had heard about nine or 10 shots.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) said the suspect was shot in the leg when officers arrived on the scene and was later arrested.
“The vehicle struck multiple people on the path. There are several fatalities and numerous people injured,” the NYPD said in a statement. “The vehicle continued south striking another vehicle. The suspect exited the vehicle displaying imitation firearms and was shot by officers. The suspect is in custody.”
Two US government sources said the Tuesday incident was being treated as a “terrorist attack,” and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had joined the NYPD in investigating the deadly incident.
Police called on the public to avoid the area as a major emergency services operation got under way.