California: Driver hits eight people in a suspected intentional crash

California: Driver hits eight people in a suspected intentional crash

A driver in Sunnyvale, California, is in custody after hitting eight pedestrians with his car on Tuesday, in an incident police are saying that appears to be intentional.

According to witnesses at the scene and police officials, shortly after 6:30 p.m. local time, a car rammed into people on a busy sidewalk. the driver didn’t slow down or try to avoid the pedestrians in the town about 40 miles from San Francisco.

“We have preliminary evidence from witnesses that he was accelerating, doesn’t look like he tried to brake at all,” Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Capt. Jim Choi told NBC Bay Area.

The suspect, an adult male, crashed into a tree after plowing into the pedestrians. Police arrested him at the scene, but did not release his name.

“I saw two men lying flat on their back, on the street, with paramedics surrounding them,” a witness told NBC Bay Area.

All eight victims, including a 13-year old child, were taken to hospital, some in serious condition.

Choi emphasized the event appears to be isolated, and police aren’t searching for any other suspects. However, The FBI is assisting Sunnyvale authorities in the investigation.

UPDATE: An Iraq War veteran with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder has been arrested for injuring eight people by plowing his car through a crosswalk. Police say he targeted the victims based on their race and his belief they might be Muslim.

Isaiah Joel Peoples, 34, faces eight counts of attempted murder. Four victims of Tuesday’s crash remain hospitalized, including a 13-year-old Sunnyvale girl of South Asian descent who is in a coma with severe brain trauma. Three adults also remain hospitalized with injuries that include broken limbs and fractures.

The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety tweeted: “Late yesterday [Thursday] afternoon, DPS obtained evidence regarding the motive behind Peoples’ criminal act. He targeted the victims based on their race and his belief that they were of the Muslim Faith. We will be providing support to our diverse communities.”

“Our community stands unified against these senseless acts of violence motivated by hate, and we strongly condemn them,” Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein said in a statement. “Sunnyvale takes pride in the incredible diversity of people who form the rich fabric of our city. We embrace our community of many backgrounds and beliefs, and we will continue to define ourselves by openness and acceptance for all.”

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