Washington/New York: President Donald Trump said he was ordering the Department of Homeland Security to bolster vetting of immigrants coming into US after an Uzbek man allegedly drove a truck down a bike path in New York, killing at least eight and injuring scores more.
“I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!," the president said in a post to Twitter Tuesday night.
It was unclear what specifically Trump was ordering the Department of Homeland Security to do. DHS officials referred questions to the White House, which declined to comment beyond a statement issued earlier in the day.
“My administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation," the formal statement issued in the president’s name said. “I will continue to follow developments closely."
The New York Police Department said a driver steered a vehicle on to a bike path just north of Chambers Street in the Tribeca neighborhood and struck multiple people. The vehicle then continued south and struck another vehicle.
The president was briefed on the incident by White House chief of staff John Kelly. White House officials did not comment directly on the investigation. CNN and other media outlets reported that the driver was from Uzbekistan.
Shortly after the incident, Trump used Twitter to condemn the attack.
“In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person," Trump said the tweet. “Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!"
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, during a press conference, put the death toll at eight. The NYPD said there also were “numerous people injured." New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said there was no evidence of a wider plot, attributing the attack to the “actions of one individual."
Police said the suspect, a 29-year-old man, was in custody. He was shot when he exited the vehicle while brandishing imitation firearms and is now in a hospital.
Officials said information about the incident was preliminary and said more information was to follow. Bloomberg