A US Navy veteran plowed his car into pedestrians in New York City’s packed Times Square on Thursday, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring 22 people. The city’s mayor said there was no indication it was an act of terrorism.
“People were being hit and rolling off the car,” said Josh Duboff, who works at the nearby Thomson Reuters headquarters. He leaped out of the way to avoid being struck.
Shoes were scattered on the sidewalk. A woman’s body lay covered with a bloodstained blanket. A police officer kept vigil nearby, sadly shaking his head.
The dead woman was named by police as Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old who was on vacation with her family from Michigan.
Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them tourists from around the world, pass daily through Times Square, the heart of the Broadway theater district.
The bustling streets are heavily patrolled by police, some on horseback. Many, but not all, sidewalks are lined with barricades and planters for fear of vehicle attacks.
A bouncer from the Planet Hollywood restaurant and a ticket agent were among onlookers who helped police subdue the suspect when he tried to flee the scene, media reports said.
Broadway shows would go ahead as planned on Thursday evening in the many theaters in the area, organizers said in a statement.