“I kill them, then you shoot me dead” – Rojas to arresting officers
Sedan speeding the wrong way on New York’s Seventh Avenue, mowed down scores of pedestrians for three blocks, in Times Square, Thursday
18-year-oldAlyssa Elsman killed, her 13-year-old sister injured, 22 others also injured
The driver Richard Rojas of the Bronx, was taken into custody
Investigators believe 26-year-old Rojas, a vet, who has two prior DWI arrests was driving while impaired
Witnesses said the crash vehicle appeared to be targeting people near W. 43rd St. about 12:15 p.m.
18-year-old Alyssa Elsman killed in the Richard Rojas’ drug-fueled mid-day rampage
Out of his mind allegedly on a designer drug, Richard Rojas plowed through pedestrians in New York City’s iconic Times Square on Thursday, killing one woman and injuring 22 others. After smashing his maroon Honda sedan in to a pole he 26-year-old US Navy veteran tried to flee the scene. He was seen running across the road with his arms flailing. He was brought to the ground by a Planet Hollywood bouncer before being arrested by police at the scene.
The agitated suspect told police he wanted to kill all the pedestrians and then be shot himself, by police. Sources say Rojas, had been smoking synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as K2, before deciding to go out run down people with his car.Richard Rojas’ maroon Honda sedan only stopped after it crashed into steel stanchions
His out-of-control car speeding the wrong way on Seventh Avenue plowed into several pedestrians in Times Square Thursday, killing one and injuring 23 others. The driver Richard Rojas of the Bronx, was taken into custody by authorities, Thursday.
Rojas, a 26-year-old Navy vet, has two prior DWI arrests. Investigators believe he was driving while impaired and witnesses said the maroon Honda Accord appeared to be targeting people near W. 43rd St. about 12 noon.
Killer driver Richard Rojas trying to flee
Richard Rojas who appears inebriated is taken into custody
The crash vehicle vaulted a curb and roared up the sidewalk for two more blocks, knocking down pedestrians along the way, authorities and witnesses said.
“It looked like he was trying to hit them,” said witness Annie Donahey, who was in the thick of the crash: “He wasn’t trying to go back on the street.
“There was a guy on the windshield, along for the ride, but he kept on going. A girl who was next to me a moment ago, she was on the floor on her back.”
Donahey said she heard several sickening “thuds” as the car barreled through the crowds enjoying the sunny weather.
“It was the sounds of bodies being hit, then came the screams,” she said. “People were jumping out of the way, but he just kept going. Then there was silence for what seemed to be a really long time, then the screaming returned. There were bodies covered in blood.”
The road rampage ended at W. 45th St. when Rojas’ sedan crashed into a pole and flipped on its side.
Officers of the NYPD attend to victims after a car mowed down pedestrians in Times Square, on Thursday, May 18
Another witness described the incident as being surreal: “It was total chaos, total shock,” said Kelly Graves who was visiting New York from Wisconsin.
“You didn’t know what happened until you actually saw people and the police running and people laying on the sidewalk.”
The victims were being transported to Bellevue and Saint Luke’s Hospitals. Their conditions were not immediately released.
The 26-year-old driver appeared to have been either drunk or impaired by drugs and had been arrested twice for drunken driving, officials said. The preliminary evidence indicated that the episode was not terrorism-related, officials said.
“Based on information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Thursday afternoon in Times Square.