The police have captured Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in the Chelsea bombing on Saturday night, after a shootout with the police in New Jersey.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) September 19, 2016
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) September 19, 2016
FBI Special Agent William Sweeney confirmed that authorities have “directly linked” Rahami to the attacks in New York and New Jersey.
The New York Daily News reported that three men recognized Rahami as he slept outside a bar. They immediately called the police:
Jack Mazza, 55, a mechanic who works at a shop around the corner, said he and a friend named Harry were walking past Harry’s bar, called Merdie’s Tavern. They spotted a male in a hoodie, initially thinking he was a bum sleeping in a sort of vestibule out front.
“Harry said, ‘That’s the guy. That’s the guy that planted the bomb,’” Mazza said. “I said ‘No, it’s not – you can’t even see his face. How do you know?’ Because he had a hoodie on. I bent down and looked at him and said, I don’t know. Call the cops if you think it’s him.”
“A few minutes later the cops showed up and the guy pulled out a gun and started shooting through the glass at them. Then he ran out and took off down Elizabeth Avenue.”
When the police arrived, they got into a shootout:
“I heard some gunfire from across the street of my store, then I saw man walking down the street with a gun in his hand. He took six shots at a police car,” said Peter Bilinskas, the owner of Bilinskas Brother Bowling Shop in Linden.
“I’m very glad that when he was shooting at the police car it didn’t go through my building. When I saw him walking with the gun, I moved away immediately.”
From The New York Times:
The dramatic episode on a rain-soaked street in Linden, N.J., came after the police issued a cellphone alert to millions of residents in the area telling them to be on the lookout for the suspect, who was described as “armed and dangerous.”
Photos from the scene showed a man believed to be Mr. Rahami laying on the sidewalk, hands cuffed behind his back and his shirt pulled up exposing his stomach and chest, with a police officer standing over him.
Witnesses said they saw police shoot at a man who was running away. One person who was too rattled to give his name said the victim appeared to have been shot more than once and was “still twitching.”
He also said it appeared a police officer was shot.
“Lotta’ lotta’ gunfire,” said Derek Pelligra, manager of Linden Auto Body.
The Washington Post reported that one cop was shot in the hand while another was shot in the bullet proof vest he wore. However, no one knows exactly who shot the cops.
From Fox News:
An eyewitness to Rahami’s capture in Linden, NJ told Fox News that he saw a man walking down a street with a gun in his hand. A police car pulled up next to him and the man fired at cops 4-6 times. The shooter then began running down the street with several police cars trailing him, the witness, Peter Bilinskas, said.
The authorities also wanted him in connection to explosions in New Jersey over the weekend:
“You have some similarities among the bombs and the way they were made and put together and some of the technology that was used in the bombs,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said on “CBS This Morning.” “So there is some suggestion that there might have been a common identity across all the bombs. But again this is preliminary.
“I suspect there might be a foreign connection. That’s what we’re hearing today as the investigation goes on.”
The explosion in Chelsea injured 29 people Saturday night. Earlier in the day, a garbage can exploded on the same route at a Marine Corps charity run in New Jersey.
Later that night, police also discovered “a backpack with multiple bombs inside” in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
We will update as authorities release more information.
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