A man, who appeared intoxicated, drove his car the wrong way up a street and along a pavement in New York’s Times Square on Thursday, leaving at least one person dead and more than 20 people injured.
The incident initially sparked terror fears and police had the square locked down within minutes. Authorities were quick to reassure the public, at one of the busiest tourist spots in the world, that the incident was a car crash and not terror-related.
An 18-year-old girl, named as Alyssa Elsman from Michigan, was killed in the horrific crash. Her 13-year-old sister was among the injured.
The suspect was named at Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old Navy veteran from the Bronx. He reportedly told police: You were supposed to shoot me! I wanted to kill them.
He was charged with one count of murder in the second-degree, aggravated vehicular homicide and multiple counts of attempted murder, a New York police spokesman said late on Thursday.
Mr. Rojas was expected to appear in court on Friday at an arraignment hearing.
Rojas had previously been arrested twice for drunken driving, in 2008 and 2015, and once this month on a charge of menacing for threatening another man with a knife, police said.
He reportedly told police after being apprehended that he had been smoking marijuana.
The incident left a stream of destruction, with several seriously injured victims receiving treatment and shoes scattered on the street. One body was covered with a blood-stained sheet.Police cordoned off the square to all traffic, shutting down what is known as the Crossroads of the World.