A quick-thinking police officer with five years on the job stopped the deadliest terrorist attack in New York City since Sept. 11, 2001.
City officials hailed Officer Ryan Nash, 28, for shooting and apprehending Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, the suspect accused of mowing down at least eight people with a rented truck in lower Manhattan on Tuesday.
"He was a hero," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Wednesday.
He added: "However, due to the nature of the pending criminal case, I cannot make any further public statements about the incident at this time. Thank you."
Nash was reportedly out on a routine call on Tuesday afternoon when he and his partner were summoned to help with a student at nearby Stuyvesant High School who had indicated that he wanted to kill himself, a person familiar with the details of the incident told The New York Times. NBC News has not independently confirmed those details.
But after Saipov crashed his truck into a school bus and ran into the streets, the officers darted to the scene, coming face to face with Saipov, who appeared to be toting weapons. That's when Nash opened fire, shooting Saipov in the abdomen. Authorities later said Saipov was armed with a pellet gun and a paintball gun.