A New York City police officer was being hailed as a hero Wednesday after shooting the man accused of a Manhattan terror attack that killed eight people and wounded 12 others.
Ryan Nash, 28, is a decorated, five-year veteran of the force stationed in Lower Manhattan.
“He was a hero,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “I think Officer Nash showed how important (patrol officers) are, and how talented they are and how brave. So we all applaud and congratulate him.”
Nash and another officer were responding to an unrelated call Tuesday afternoon at Stuyvesant High School when they were alerted by civilians about an apparent car crash nearby, said John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner.
Miller said Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old truck driver from Uzbekistan, drove a rented truck onto a bike path, slamming into riders for almost a mile before crashing into a school bus near the World Trade Center memorial. Witnesses say the suspect emerged from the truck yelling “Allahu Akbar!” — “God is great” in Arabic.
Saipov was confronted by Nash and two other officers, who “observed people down at the scene,” Miller said Wednesday. Saipov was wielding what appeared to be two weapons that he refused to drop on orders from the officers, police said.
“One of those officers, Ryan Nash, takes action and fires his service weapon, bringing the attack to an end,” Miller said.
Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said the weapons were later determined to be a paintball gun and a pellet gun. But Nash didn’t know that when he confronted the suspect, O’Neill said.
“This is what he did for the city, and this is what he did for the country,” O’Neill said. “I’m really proud of him.”
Saipov was hospitalized and underwent surgery; Nash was treated for minor injuries. O’Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio said they visited Nash at the hospital after the attack.
“Ryan is a hero, but he was so humble about his achievement,” de Blasio said. “He thought this was all in a day’s work. He deserves the accolades of the people of this city, as do his partners.”
Nash is a New Jersey native who previously won two NYPD awards for Excellent Police Duty and one for Meritorious Police Duty, ABC News reported. He lives on Long Island with his girlfriend, the network said.
Some New York officials took to Twitter to sing Nash’s praises.
“We are also grateful – deeply grateful – to the NYPD & 1st responders, especially Officer Ryan Nash, who was the first on the scene, “Sen. Charles Schumer tweeted.
“Here’s the hero cop the world should be talking about,” City Councilman Joe Borelli tweeted. “Police Officer Ryan Nash risked his life to save others. Thank u Ryan, thank u #NYPD”
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