Top brass at the Nassau, Suffolk and New York police departments said their officers were on alert Monday after a motorist in Toronto mowed down several pedestrians, killing at least 10 people.
The advisories from the three agencies came after a motorist driving a van jumped a curb and plowed into pedestrians on a busy street in Canada’s largest city, police and media reports said. Fifteen people were injured in the van strike, officials said.
“Acting Commissioner [Geraldine] Hart and Chief of Department [Stuart] Cameron express their support to the people of Toronto,” read a statement from Suffolk police. “Our department is closely monitoring intelligence on the vehicle ramming incident that occurred earlier today in their city . . . There is currently no additional credible threat to Suffolk County. We will adjust our posture as necessary. We encourage the public to report any suspicious activity to our department.”
Nassau police said it was working with local, federal and state law enforcement authorities and expressed condolences to the victims of the Toronto van strike.
“Although there are no known imminent threats to Nassau County, the Police Department Intelligence Division is working closely with federal, state and local officials to monitor the situation,” read a statement from the Nassau police department. “The public is reminded if they see any suspicious activity to contact 911 immediately.”
Officials with the NYPD said there were no threats reported in the city, but the department had beefed up security at several locations.
“The NYPD is monitoring developments in Toronto through the intelligence bureau, and in coordination with the Joint Terrorism Task Force here in Manhattan,” read a statement from NYPD spokesman Phil Walzak. “Additional counterterror officers have been deployed to high profile locations in and around the City out of an abundance of caution and until more is learned about today’s events . . . At this point in time, there is no known nexus to New York City.”
Police encouraged people to contact them about suspicious activity.
The van strike Monday was eerily similar to the Halloween massacre in Manhattan last year, when a motorist rammed a rented pickup truck into pedestrians and bicyclists along the West Side Highway, killing eight people and injuring 11 before being shot by a police officer.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, a native of Uzbekistan, was charged in that attack, said authorities, adding that Saipov, who is in custody and awaiting trial, had said he acted on behalf of Islamic State.
On Monday, Toronto officials would not comment on a possible motive except to play down a possible connection to terrorism, The Associated Press reported.