Suspect in deadly Times Square mayhem charged with murder

A tourist visiting New York City was killed and almost two dozen people were injured after the driver of a auto drove up the sidewalk in the middle of a busy Times Square Thursday.

According to de Blasio, there is "no indication that this was an act of terrorism".

City authorities were nevertheless deploying extra police from anti-terror units to key locations around the United States financial and cultural capital, home to 8.5 million, out of "an abundance of caution", the mayor said.

Within moments of the incident, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio rushed to the scene.

Rojas returned from his Navy service with a drinking problem and had posted "crazy stuff" on social media, said a friend, Harrison Ramos, speaking to Reuters outside the apartment building where Rojas lives in New York City's Bronx borough. "You stole my identity", Rojas told the man, grabbing his neck in one hand while brandishing the knife in the other, according to a police spokeswoman.

Images that emerged shortly after the incident showed him being restrained by officers and bundled into a police vehicle.

A number of people were treated for their injuries at the scene. One person was killed and 22 others were hurt. The woman's 13-year-old sister was among the injured, according to authorities. Four of them are in critical condition, three are in serious condition - and all are expected to survive.

A smashed vehicle sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after driving through a crowd of pedestrians Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Elsman's 13-year-old sister was also struck by the auto, but survived, police said. "He went into the sidewalk and a lot of people were hit down after that". It is being investigated as an accident, a police official said.

After his arrest Rojas told cops he had meant to commit murder-suicide, pleading with police to shoot him, according to the NY post. Flames were seen coming from Rojas's vehicle and were extinguished by firefighters.

The driver of the auto was arrested and identified as Richard Rojas, 26, from the Bronx.

O'Neill said civilians and police had been involved in apprehending Rojas, but declined to give any more details.

Law enforcement officials say a man accused of steering his auto onto one of the busiest sidewalks in the US and mowing down pedestrians for three blocks told police he was "hearing voices". Sources say Times Square driver was apparently high on K2It happened just before noon near 44th Street and Seventh Avenue - the heart of Times Square near Broadway.

Officials said Rojas made a U-turn onto a sidewalk in Times Square. Press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before NY authorities confirmed the death.

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