A 26-year-old man by the name of Richard Rojas has been charged with murder and 20 counts of attempted murder after having plowed his car into pedestrians in New York Times Square in what seemed like a terrorist attack.
Rojas was arrested Thursday afternoon after he drove his car for three blocks in Times Square, before hitting almost two dozen people before finally being stopped by steel security barriers. He has been charged with five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.
An 18-year-old tourist from Michigan was killed. Her 13-year-old sister was among the 22 injured, four of them are in critical condition. Officials say following disciplinary actions, he was discharged from the US navy. He apparently told police he was “hearing voices”, after his arrest, and expected to die, two law enforcement officials said.
Following the wreck he emerged from his vehicle running, yelling and jumping before being subdued by police and bystanders in a riotous scene.
New York police department is still carrying out investigations of his intoxication levels as his Rojas intentions remain unclear. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was “no indication that this was an act of terrorism”.
This comes after vehicles have plowed through pedestrians in recent terrorist attacks in the UK, France and Germany.