An attack in New York City, during which an unidentified man in a rented truck drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial left at least eight people dead and multiple injured, is a reminder of how dangerous the world is, Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) said.
“If you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time -- like in this case the [eight] individuals we know and another 15 injured -- our hearts and prayers go out to those individuals and their families,” Collins told FOX Business’ David Asman. “There just is no easy solution here.”
The suspect was shot by police twice after shouting “Allahu Akbar” and jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be two fake guns. Police took the driver, who is expected to survive, into custody. Police added there there are “no outstanding” actors.
Fox News reported that a police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the incident is being investigated as a possible terrorist attack. During a press conference, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident a ‘cowardly act of terror.’
“We don’t know if this was a mentally ill or if he was affiliated with some other terrorist organization,” Collins said. “But it’s a tragedy, and it’s just a very dangerous world. Everyone has to keep their antenna up at all times, regardless of where they are.”
Bomb squads and police officers responded almost immediately to the attack, with hundreds of officials on site after the news broke that something had happened -- a preparedness that came at a heavy price from the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted he has "been briefed with preliminary information on the situation in Lower Manhattan and am heading to the scene." And on Twitter, President Donald Trump commented on the attack, writing that “In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”
Collins noted that while response rates are high, there’s still no way to prevent attacks like this, particularly in unguarded, open spaces like bike pathways and shopping malls.
“These are all but impossible to stop,” he said. “And that’s why people need to be vigilant and know where they are and pay attention to what’s going on, and certainly report anything suspicious.”