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UPDATES: Police ID Driver Who 'Intentionally' Plowed Into Pedestrians In California; FBI Involved

Police: no indication it was terrorism; suspect faces 8 counts of attempted murder

Police stand guard at an apartment complex in Sunnyvale, Calif., Wednesday, April 24, 2019, believed to be the residence of a driver suspected of plowing into a crowd of people in a busy Sunnyvale intersection Tuesday
Karl Mondon/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images
 

This article has been updated to include the most recent statements from authorities.

 

Authorities have identified the man police believe "intentionally" drove a black sedan into eight pedestrians at a busy intersection in a Bay Area city Tuesday evening and have revealed that the FBI has gotten involved. In an update Wednesday, authorities say they have no indications that it was an act of domestic terrorism but they believe the suspect acted deliberately.

In an email to a Bay Area CBS affiliate KPIX 5 Wednesday, a spokesperson for the FBI told the outlet that agents are assessing the situation to determine to what degree the bureau should be involved. "Should it be determined that a federal crime was committed, we will become more involved," the FBI said.

Police Captain Jim Choi told reporters Wednesday that thus far they have found "no indication that this act in itself was related to an act of terrorism," but they have determined that the suspect "did intentionally try to run over the people." The suspect, police said, faces eight counts of attempted murder.

On Wednesday, the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety released the identity of the driver, a 34-year-old resident who is reportedly a military vet who served in Afghanistan (his name is here withheld in accordance with Daily Wire policies).

 

The suspect's brother told KPIX 5 that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the service. "He said when [his brother] is not taking his medication, he can often be seen rocking back-and-forth in a corner or lapses into a hyper religious state where he sings Christian songs out loud," the outlet reports. In an interview with the Associated Press, their mother likewise cited her son's struggles with PTSD, saying he was ultimately discharged from the Army because of the disorder.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported early Wednesday that the incident took place around 6:40 p.m. at the busy intersection of El Camino Real and Sunnyvale Saratoga Road. Police Captain Choi told reporters that the driver "drove into the crosswalk, then onto the sidewalk where he continued to hit pedestrians."

 

"Some of the statements (from witnesses) show that the driver did not try to avoid the pedestrians at the cross walk, and there was no attempt to swerve, drive away or break," Choi told the press. Some of the victims were crossing the street at the direction of a walk signal, while others were on the sidewalk.

The harrowing situation came to a dramatic end when the Corolla rammed into a tree on El Camino Real. The driver reportedly exited the vehicle, apparently uninjured, and gave himself up to authorities. A witness told authorities that the suspect muttered, "I love you, Jesus," when he exited his wrecked vehicle.

Choi told the press that if it was an "intentional act," the suspect will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon among other charges.

The victims of the incident reportedly suffered "serious" injuries, though specifics about their conditions have not been revealed. Among the victims is a 13-year-old, who reportedly suffered the most serious injuries; the other seven are adults.

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