Police: Suspect in Times Square crash wanted to 'kill them all'

NEW YORK -- The driver suspected of mowing down a crowd of Times Square pedestrians with his car, killing one of them, told investigators he wanted to "kill them all."

They said Richard Rojas also told police they should have shot him. Rojas's lawyer and weeping supporters had no comment Friday.

Police say he drove his car for three blocks into Times Square midday Thursday, hitting nearly two dozen people before steel security barriers finally stopped him.

Four victims who were hit remain in critical condition Friday at two local hospitals.

Police say 18-year-old Alyssa Elsman from Michigan was killed and 22 others, including Elsman’s 13-year-old sister, were hurt when Richard Rojas drove through dozens of pedestrians on the sidewalk in Times Square around noon on Thursday.

The victims have injuries ranging from broken bones to internal bleeding and head trauma, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.

The incident began as Rojas was driving south on Seventh Avenue through Times Square, police said.

“As he approaches 42nd Street, he makes a quick U-turn on to the west side street, the west side sidewalk of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street,” said NYPD Chief of Manhattan South Detectives William Aubry. “He proceeds on that west side sidewalk for three and half blocks, where he hits a stanchion.”

The car went flying and also caught fire when it struck the stanchion along the sidewalk at 45th Street.

One man lying underneath the wreckage was Thomas Henry.

“I could see this dark colored car and I did not know,” he said. “I thought it was a dream.”

Beside him was his nephew, Christopher Beekhary.

“The car came down, crashed on the pole and when the car came down it hit his head,” said Beekhary.

Beekhary, his wife and two small children were visiting Times Square from Guyana.

“I just run and just pushed the child away,” said tourist Sunita Prasad. “Because I don’t want them to get hurt and then when I turned around, I saw him down on the ground. I don’t know what to do.”

Henry walked out of Bellevue Hospital Thursday night. Others are not as fortunate.

CBS2 spoke to the son of retired Brooklyn teacher William Nelson Sr., who said he is on a breathing machine after being hit.

Elsman, who died instantly, was a college student and worked at a restaurant.

CBS/AP


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