National News

Police officer ended New York rampage with 9 bullets

Posted November 1, 2017 3:24 p.m. EDT

— Sayfullo Saipov sped a rented truck down nearly a mile of a Hudson River bike path on Tuesday afternoon, crushing eight people to death and injuring 11 more, before crashing in front of Stuyvesant High School in Tribeca.

Then he began to run.

But at Chambers Street, there was Officer Ryan Nash.

Nash fired nine shots at Saipov, ending the worst terrorist attack in New York City since Sept. 11, 2001. The police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said Tuesday that one bullet struck Saipov in his abdomen. Saipov, who police say is responsible for the attack, was brandishing two weapons, which turned out to be a pellet gun and paintball gun.

“To NYPD Officer Ryan Nash-thank you for your bravery & quick action in stopping yesterday’s terrorist attack,” William J. Bratton, a former commissioner of the New York Police Department, wrote on Twitter. “Truly one of New York’s Finest.”

In a news conference on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had spoken to Nash since the attack. “He is a good young man; he was very humble about what he did, but what he did was extraordinary,” the mayor said. “And it gave people such faith and such appreciation in our police force.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo joined in the praise, calling the officer “talented” and “brave.”

Nash is a five-year veteran of the force, working day tours in the First Precinct in Lower Manhattan, according to a person familiar with the details of Tuesday’s incident. He was one of four officers responding to a call from Stuyvesant High School at 345 Chambers St. on Tuesday afternoon. Nash and his partner, Officer John Hasiotis, had been summoned to help with a student who was in the nurses’ office and had indicated that he wanted to kill himself. Two other officers had been called as backup.

Outside, Saipov’s vehicular rampage was ending with a crash at Chambers Street and West Street, where he slammed his white rental truck into a yellow school bus and fled into the streets.

The four officers rushed out of the school, turning east toward the highway and confronting Saipov on the street. He had what appeared to be pistols in each hand and turned toward the officers as they approached. Nash was the closest, and fired nine times from his department-issued service gun.

When Saipov dropped to the pavement, a civilian — who had previously attempted to tackle the suspect as he was getting out of the rented truck — approached the wounded man, who was still clutching the two weapons.

The civilian kicked the guns out of Saipov’s hands.

Saipov, an Uzbeki immigrant and sometime Uber driver living in Paterson, New Jersey, has not yet been charged. He was hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital Center and has been speaking with investigators, police said.