NEW YORK (AP) – A man who went on a deadly rampage with a U-Haul truck on Monday in New York City was suffering from an apparent mental health crisis and said he started mowing people down after seeing an “invisible object” coming toward him, police said on Tuesday.
Weng Sor, 62, was charged on Tuesday with murder and attempted murder in the attack, which unfolded over a harrowing 48 minutes over a large swath of Brooklyn’s bustling Bay Ridge neighbourhood. Police eventually pinned the truck against a building after a miles-long chase.
One person was killed and eight people were injured as the U-Haul truck veered onto sidewalks and ploughed into bicyclists, moped riders and at least one pedestrian, hitting people at various points along a circuitous route. The truck also rammed a police car, and
The scope and length of the destruction led to questions about the NYPD’s response and whether the pursuit – which at one point involved a police car speeding after the U-Haul up onto the sidewalk as a man dove to safety – put more people in harm’s way. Sor, a troubled man with a history of violence and mental illness, told police that seeing an “invisible object” set him off, Chief of Detectives James Essig told reporters on Tuesday. Sor’s family said he’d stopped taking his medication, Essig said.
“He states when he was driving his van he saw an ‘invisible object’ come towards the car. At that point, he said, ‘I’ve had enough’ and he goes on his rampage,” Essig said. “There was no object.”