Argentinians celebrating 30th anniversary of high school graduation among those killed in New York City attack

November 01, 2017 - 7:01 am

(NEW YORK) --  At least five of the eight people killed in Tuesday's truck attack in New York City were from Argentina, visiting New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation, the country's consulate in New York City said.

The five Argentinians killed by suspected attacker Sayfullo Saipov were identified as Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi, the consulate said.

A Belgian citizen was also killed in the attack, the deputy Prime Minister of Belgium tweeted, though not naming the person.

The identities of the other two people killed were also not immediately clear.

Besides the eight deaths, 13 others were injured and hospitalized. Three people are listed in critical condition.

Tuesday's deadly incident is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism.

The chaos unfolded shortly after 3 p.m., when the suspect drove a vehicle -- a Home Depot rental truck, according to the company -- onto the West Street pedestrian and bike path north of Chambers Street, hitting multiple people on the path, New York City police said. The truck drove south and collided with a school bus on Chambers Street near Stuyvesant High School, injuring two school staff members and two children, police said.

After the collision, the truck driver exited the vehicle brandishing what appeared to be two handguns, police said. NYPD police officer Ryan Nash confronted the suspect and shot him in the abdomen. The suspect was wounded and transported to a hospital, police said.

A paintball gun and a pellet gun were recovered at the scene, police said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday called the incident a "cowardly act of terror."

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