The main suspect in the bombing that rocked New York City on Saturday night and left dozens injured was reportedly taken into custody by police in Linden, NJ on Monday morning after a days-long, intensive manhunt.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, was publicly identified as the suspect by the FBI early on Monday morning. Just before 8 AM, smartphones all over the New York metropolitan buzzed with an emergency alert asking people to keep an eye out for him.
By 11:30 a.m., officials confirmed that police had arrested Rahami following a shootout in Linden, NJ. Two Linden police officers were wounded in the shouting, but did not receive serious injuries. Rahami himself was shot and taken to Newark’s University Hospital for treatment.
ABC’s New York affiliate soon posted video showing a dazed and bloodied Rahami on a stretcher, being placed into an ambulance.
Reuters reported late on Monday afternoon that law enforcement authorities were preparing to press attempted murder and gun charges against Rahami.
In a press conference following Rahami’s arrest, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said authorities were not looking for any more suspects in the bombings and that there was no reason to believe there was any sort of terrorist cell operating in New York City.
The announcement that Rahami had been captured came hours after the discovery of five pipe bombs at a train station in Elizabeth, NJ. Men leaving a restaurant near the train station discovered the pipe bombs inside a backpack on top of a garbage can. Authorities said that the men attempted to move the backpack at first, before calling police after discovering its contents.
The bombs were accidentally set off by police robots attempting to conduct a controlled detonation, however there were no non-robot injuries as a result.
In a Monday morning news conference, Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage confirmed that Rahami’s family owned a fried chicken restaurant in the city and that police raids happening in the city were connected with the Saturday night explosions.
The New York Times interviewed customers of the Rahami family restaurant, First American Fried Chicken, who described Rahami as a friendly man who was a fan of fast cars.
“He’s a very friendly guy; he gave me free chicken,” customer Ryan McCann, 33, told the Times. “He was always the most friendly man you ever met.”
NBC News reported that Rahami previously attended school at Middlesex County College for two years as a criminal justice major, but did not graduate.
New Jersey State Police announced they were also seeking Rahami in connection with a Saturday explosion in Seaside Park, NJ. That bomb detonated in a garbage can near the start of a Marine Corps charity race, but no one was injured in the blast.
Most New Yorkers took the morning’s news in stride and went about their regular Monday morning routine, though perhaps a bit more uneasily than usual.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.