Mayor Bill de Blasio: I want to give you an update. We had a very serious incident today here in Times Square. We’re going to provide you with information. I want to emphasize upfront – this is preliminary information. Obviously, investigation underway. There’s a lot we will learn in the coming hours, but we’re going to give you the information we have at this point. I’ll start, then you’ll hear from our Police Commissioner James O’Neill, and our Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro.
So far what we know – 23 individuals were injured in this incident. And that includes tragically one young woman who has passed away. The perpetrator is in custody. He is a United States citizen and a former member of the armed forces with the United States Navy. He has a criminal history. Commissioner will go over that in a moment.
Based on the information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terror. I want to clarify again – based on the information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism.
That being said, we are reinforcing key locations around the city with our anti-terror units of the NYPD. So out of an abundance of caution, major sites in this city will get additional police coverage from our anti-terror units.
We all feel deeply right now for those who were injured and for their families, and particularly for the family of the young woman who was lost. Our prayers are with her family and with all those who right now are suffering because of this horrible incident.
I want to thank all of our first responders. The perpetrator was apprehended very quickly. And I want to thank all of the first responders who immediately came to the scene to aid the wounded. And you’ll get an update on the status of those who were affected from the Fire Commissioner.
This is a tough day for New York City. But as usual, the people of New York City will stand firm, will be resilient. We have tremendous faith in our first responders who handled this situation so quickly. And we will provide regular updates as more information emerges.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill: Alright ready to roll, we’re good? Alright, thank you.
Alright, so as the Mayor said, this is preliminary information. This incident happened about an hour-and-a-half ago, so it's all subject to change. And this is what we talk about at every press conference – we try to get as much information out to you as possible, as soon as possible.
So at approximately , a 2009 Honda Accord passenger vehicle mounted the sidewalk on the west side of Seventh Avenue and West 42nd Street in Times Square. The vehicle, occupied by a male driver, proceeded to drive at a high rate of speed along the sidewalk from 42nd Street to 45th Street, striking a number of pedestrians along the way. The Honda eventually came to a stop on the northwest corner of West 45th Street, where it collided with a metal stanchion.
Along the route, the subject’s vehicle struck 23 pedestrians, causing multiple injuries and one fatality. Twenty-two victims were removed to local hospitals.
The driver, a 26-year-old male, identified as Richard Rojas, a resident of the Bronx, was taken into custody at the scene. Preliminary investigation reveals that Rojas has a few arrests, and two of them are for DWI. Detectives are currently reviewing any other criminal history for the subject. Further investigation is ongoing.
At this point, as the Mayor said, there is no indication that this incident was terrorism related.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro: Thank you, and I’ll talk about the injuries in general terms as we do. We’re not going to talk about names or specific injuries.
We did have one person who was pronounced at the scene.
There were four critical patients removed: two to Bellevue, two to Roosevelt with very traumatic injuries including open fractures, including multiple traumas. None of those at this point, thanks to the fact that they were quickly transported to this hospital, is likely. But that doesn’t mean they are cleared. None of those four are right now likely to perish, conditions can change.
We’re very hopeful that the fact they were treated here quickly and removed quickly, that they will survive.
Three other injuries were very serious, but not critical, they were also removed to local hospitals.
Fifteen are less serious injuries – we call green tag injuries – all of these people have now been transported to the hospitals, are being treated. [Inaudible] divulge any names, or ages, or where they come from at this point.
But there was a very large amount of Fire Department, Police Department, and emergency services arriving here very quickly, and thanks to that, people received care in a very timely fashion.