MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump wants the death penalty for the man accused of running a truck through a New York City bike lane, killing eight people and seriously injuring a dozen more.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, appeared in federal court on Wednesday. He is charged with two terrorism counts; a charge of providing material support to a terrorist organization and a charge of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle with willful disregard for human life.
Wounded by police after the attack, Saipov was rolled into court in a wheelchair and shackles. He didn’t enter a plea or seek bail. If convicted, the death penalty is a possibility.
President Trump tweeted that he supports that.
NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017
Investigators say Saipov has admitted to planning the attack for about a year. He even made a practice run earlier this month to make sure he got all the turns right. According to court papers, he chose Halloween because he believed more people would be out and about.
“A search of cell phones found in a bag that he was carrying revealed thousands of ISIS-related images and 90 videos,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of counter-terrorism John Miller.
Police also found knives and a note with Islamic religious references. Sources tell CBS News he “bragged about what he did.” and “was very pleased with the success.”
Saipov also told investigators he wanted to put ISIS flags on the truck, but decided against it, believing it would’ve drawn too much attention before carrying out his plan.
Law enforcement believes he acted as a lone wolf.
“At this point we don’t see anything that leads us to believe there is anyone else involved, but I caution we are a day or two into this,” said Miller.
An intelligence source told CBS News, Saipov had some contact with individuals in 2015 who were considered radicalized extremists and at least one of whom was from Uzbekistan.
Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan who came to the U.S in 2010, drove a rented Home Depot truck about a mile down a busy bike path, mowing down pedestrians and bicyclists alike. It happened just a few blocks from the World Trade Center memorial. He then collided with a school bus, injuring two adults and two children.
Saipov told investigators had he not run into a school bus, his plan was to head to the Brooklyn Bridge and target more pedestrians there.
The eight people killed in the attack are now identified. Five of the victims were from Argentina who were celebrating more than 30 years of friendship, a 31-year-old mother of two from Belgium and two Americans; 32-year-old Darren Drake and 23-year-old Nicholas Cleves.
Drake’s parents spent hours trying to reach him on Tuesday.
“We said what are the odds of Darren being out in a 30 second period of time that the guy was driving by? But then as the day went on, no Darren,” said his father Jimmy Drake.
At least 8 people remain in the hospital with injures ranging from an amputation to neck and back injuries.
New York City says its marathon will go on as scheduled this weekend but with increased security.