The 29-year-old man suspected of killing eight people and injuring several others when he mowed them down driving a Home Depot truck in New York City has been identified as a Florida resident originally from Uzbekistan.
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov was taken into custody by police after he was shot in the stomach while trying to flee the attack scene shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in downtown Manhattan not far from the World Trade Center on Tuesday afternoon.
Saipov is an Uzbek national who came to the U.S. in 2010, according to NBC. At the time of his arrest on Tuesday, he was carrying a Florida identification card that listed a Tampa address.
The suspect was said to be ‘very friendly’ and worked for Uber, according to one of his friends, Kobiljon Matkarov.
The 37-year-old told The New York Post that he met Saipov roughly five years ago in Florida where they became friends.
‘He is very good guy, he is very friendly… he is like little brother… he look at me like big brother,’ Matkarov told the Post by phone from his home in Miamisburg, Ohio.
‘My kids like him too, he is always playing with them. He is playing all the time.’
He said that Saipov had been living in New Jersey and working for Uber as recently as this past summer.
Matkarov said that Saipov took him to John F. Kennedy Airport back in June when he flew to Uzbekistan with his children and wife.
‘He dropped me to the airport with my family… I called him and said I needed a ride,’ Matkarov stated.
But Matkarov said that his son asked for a photo when they were departing and Saipov declined.
Matkarov said Saipov got along well with his five kids, who enjoyed playing with him.
‘He no like that. He said no,’ Matkarov said.
He added that he did not know Saipov to have any terrorist corrections.
According to online records, he worked as a commercial truck driver and lived in both Ohio and New Jersey previously. He also has a minor criminal record for traffic offenses in Missouri and Pennsylvania.
Saipov provided an address in St Charles County, Missouri for that traffic violation, which shows the location is registered address for STL Logistics LLC.
That company had a Freightliner tractor and semi-trailer registered, records show.
Court records show he was stopped in Mount Holly Springs Borough, Pennsylvania on March 26, 2015 by Deputy Ron Hoover of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department.
Saipov, who provided authorities with an address in Patterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to a single charge of maximum length of a single trailer and paid the fees associated with the citation.
Saipov has two businesses registered in Ohio- Sayf Motors Inc. in Hamilton County from May 2011 and Bright Auto LLC in Cuyahoga Falls from August 2013.
According to state records, Sayf Motors Inc. is located at an apartment in Cincinnati and the license remains active.
Bright Auto LLC is also based in an apartment and records show the company is an active carrier registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Records show that the trucking company has one truck and one driver.
Authorities have not said where the Home Depot truck involved in the attack was rented from. The company also said it could not confirm if the suspect had rented the vehicle, but they are cooperating with police.
It’s also unknown how long Saipov had been in New York City prior to the deadly incident on Tuesday.
The horrific attack happened shortly after 3pm when the driver mounted the bicycle path at Houston Street at 3.05pm and drove 17 blocks downtown, knocking down victims before coming to a stop at Chambers Street where he eventually crashed in to a school bus.
There were two children and two adults inside the bus at the time. They are among the 11 injured people now in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
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