Sunday 21 October 2018

'He saved countless lives' - Irish-American police officer hailed a hero for stopping suspect in New York terror attack

Ryan Nash was responding to another call at the time of the attack and shot Sayfullo Saipov when he refused to drop his weapons

Officer Ryan Nash confronted Sayfullo Saipov after a rented truck was driven down a bike lane and into a school bus, killing eight and injuring 11, including children, the New York Daily News reported.
Officer Ryan Nash confronted Sayfullo Saipov after a rented truck was driven down a bike lane and into a school bus, killing eight and injuring 11, including children, the New York Daily News reported.

Kathy Armstrong and Natasha Salmon

A quick-thinking Irish-American New York Police Department officer who shot a terror suspect in Manhattan after a truck was used in a deadly killing spree has been hailed a hero for bringing it to an end.

The city police officer, Ryan Nash, was responding to a report of a suicidal teenager at a high school in lower Manhattan when he heard reports that a vehicle had hit people nearby.

Officer Nash confronted Sayfullo Saipov after a rented truck was driven down a bike lane and into a school bus, killing eight and injuring 11, including children, the New York Daily News reported.

The officer shot the 29-year-old suspect and wounded him when he refused to drop a pair of realistic-looking weapons, later identified as paintball and pellet guns.

Ryan Nash
Ryan Nash

Speaking at a press conference afterwards, NYPD commissioner James O’Neill said: “I want to commend the response of our NYPD officer that was on post near the location who stopped the carnage moments after it began.”

The 28-year-old officer was called to Stuyvesant High School to reports of a suicidal 17-year-old girl at 2.35pm.

Around 30 minutes later the truck hit cyclists and pedestrians on Chambers Street, near the school.

Officer Nash rushed to the scene where he saw Saipov brandishing the guns.

Police said Saipov didn’t obey orders to drop the weapons and Nash opened fire, hitting him in the abdomen.

He is Irish-American and a member of the Emerald Society, which represents the Irish community within the force.

Authorities respond near a damaged school bus Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. A motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people on Tuesday police and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Authorities respond near a damaged school bus Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. A motorist drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial and struck several people on Tuesday police and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Authorities investigate the wreckage of a Home Depot truck, top left, and a body under a white cloth, top right, after a motorist drove the truck down the bike path Tuesday Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. The motorist drove onto the busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial Tuesday, killing several. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Authorities stand near a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
A Home Depot truck which struck down multiple people on a bike path, killing several and injuring numerous others, is seen as New York city first responders are at the crime scene in lower Manhattan in New York, NY, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
NYPD investigators are at the crime scene near a bike path in lower Manhattan in New York, NY, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Police investigate a vehicle allegedly used in a ramming incident on the West Side Highway in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 31 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
A Home Depot truck which drove down the bike path alongside the West Side Highway at full speed and hit several people is seen as New York city first responders are at the crime scene near a bike path in lower Manhattan in New York, NY, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Emergency crews attend the scene of an alleged shooting incident on West Street in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 31 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Pedestrians run off the street after a shooting incident near Chamber St. in New York City, U.S. October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Police block off the street after a shooting incident in New York City, U.S. October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A spokesperson for the Police Emerald Society, Nassau County, New York, told Independent.ie: "We are also very proud of his actions, which saved countless more lives."

ABC reports that Officer Nash joined the NYPD in 2012 and has since won two prestigious awards, one for Excellent Police Duty and one for Meritorious Police Duty.

Saipov remains in hospital with the attack being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force as one of the worst in the city since the 9/11 attack.

It's understood that Long Island native Nash was also brought to hospital to be treated for tinnitus.

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