New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the incident in New York City today that left eight people dead after a truck plowed into a bicycle path was the action of a "lone wolf," and that "there's no evidence to suggest a wider plot or wider scheme."
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"New York is an international symbol of freedom and democracy," Cuomo said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon from the New York Police Department headquarters. "We are proud of it, that also makes us a target."
The governor added that there will be an increased police presence in New York City out of caution, but there is no evidence of any ongoing threat.
"We go forward together and we go forward stronger than ever, we're not going to let them win, and if we change our lives, we contort ourselves to them, then they win and we lose," Cuomo said.
The governor lauded the actions of the first responders and said his "thoughts and prayers are with those New Yorkers that we lost today."
"It reminds us all how precious life is they left the house this morning, they were enjoying the beautiful West Side of Manhattan," he added. "And they're not going to be returning home."
Cuomo continued that an investigation will continue, and "justice will be done."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio slammed the incident today as a "cowardly act of terror."
"We know this action was intended to break our spirit," de Blasio added. "Our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence and an act meant ... to intimidate us."
The mayor encouraged New Yorkers to "be vigilant" and speak up if they see something suspicious, and said that additional NYPD officers will be deployed this evening and in the days to come.
"New Yorkers do not give in in the face of these kinds of actions," he added. "We will be undeterred."
Below are the full remarks of Cuomo and de Blasio
NEW YORK GOV. ANDREW CUOMO
Thank you. First, our thoughts and prayers are with those New Yorkers who we lost today. It reminds us all how life is.
They left the house this morning. They were enjoying the beautiful West Side of Manhattan. On a beautiful fall day. And they're not going to be returning home. And that shock and that pain is going to be very real and our thoughts and our prayers are with all of them. Our first responders did an extraordinary job. The NYPD, the FDNY, the FBI, the New York State police, EMS. We have the finest security on the globe. And to see them in action today proved that once again. The new terrorist tactic, which they've called for publicly are these loan wolves who commit an act of terror. This is all very preliminary. It's only been a couple hours.
But at this point, there's no evidence to suggest a wider plot or a wider scheme. But the action of one individual who meant to cause pain and harm and probably death. And the resulting terror. And that was the purpose. We will be vigilant. More police everywhere. You'll see them in the airport. You'll see them in the tunnels. It's not because there's any evidence of any ongoing threat or any additional threat, it's just out of vigilance and out of caution. And the truth is New York is an international symbol of freedom and democracy. That's what we are. And we are proud of it. That also makes us a target for those people who oppose those concepts.
And we've lived with this before. We felt the pain before. We feel the pain today. But we go forward together. And we go forward stronger than ever. We're not going to let them win. And if we change our lives, we contort ourselves to them, then they win and we lose. We'll go about our business. Again, there's no ongoing threat. There's no evidence of that at this time. So there's no reason to have any undue anxiety. You will see more security forces. But that's only because it's an abundance of caution. Not a signal of anything else. And there will be continued investigation. And justice will be done. But again, to those we lost, they're in our thoughts and our prayers. To the first responders, thank you, thank you, thank you for the job you do. You put your life on the line everyday. And you do it better than anyone else. And to New Yorkers, be New Yorkers. And live your life. And don't let them change us or deter us in any manner, shape, or form. Thank you.
NEW YORK MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO
Thank you commissioner. It's a very painful day in our city. Horrible tragedy on the West Side.
Let me be clear. Based on the information we have at this point, this was an act of terror. And a particularly cowardly act of terror. Aimed at innocent civilians. Aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them.
We, at this moment, based on the information we have, we know of eight innocent people who have lost their lives. And over a dozen more injured.
We know that this action was intended to break our spirit. But we also know, New Yorkers are strong. New Yorkers are resilient. And our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence.
An act meant to intimidate us. We have been tested before as a city very near the site of today's tragedy. And New Yorkers do not give in in the face of these kinds of actions. We'll respond as we always do. We will be undeterred. And I want to thank everyone at the NYPD, all our first responders for their extraordinary efforts in the midst of this tragedy, starting with the officer who stopped this tragedy from continuing. All the first responders who came to the aid of those who were injured.
The investigation is under way. To get all the facts. And what we'll tell you today of course will be preliminary. But we know we will get down to the bottom of what happened. I want to ask all New Yorkers, all Americans, to keep the families of those lost in your thoughts and prayers. They will need our support.
And I want to ask all New Yorkers to be vigilant we know it's Halloween night. And we know in the days ahead, people will be uneasy. We ask all New Yorkers to live by the idea if you see something, say something. Tell an officer if you see anything unusual, anything that worries you. Be vigilant. And know that there will be extensive additional employments of NYPD officers this evening and throughout the days ahead. We will also keep you posted this investigation continues. And as the NYPD gains more information.