A bloody shootout on a New Jersey street ended Monday with the arrest of a suspect in the bomb blast that wounded 29 people Saturday in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, authorities said.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, and two police officers were wounded in the gunfight in Linden — hours after authorities found more explosives at a New Jersey train station, raided an apartment nearby, issued a wanted poster and began to link the blast with other bombs.
The intense manhunt came to a swift conclusion after Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan, was found sleeping in the doorway of a bar, Mayor Derek Armstead said. Rahami shot the responding officer – who was wearing a protective vest — in the abdomen, Armstead said.
Rahami then began shooting “indiscriminately” along Elizabeth Avenue, the police said, and another officer was injured in the hand. More officers joined the gun battle and brought Rahami down, police Capt. James Sarnicki said.
“We have reason to believe this was an act of terror,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, adding “There is no other individual we are looking for right now.”
The FBI wanted poster, issued hours before the arrest, warned that Rahami “should be considered armed and dangerous.”
Rahami’s last known address was listed in neighboring Elizabeth, and federal authorities conducted a raid there Monday at an apartment above a fried chicken restaurant operated by Rahami’s father.
Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said a traffic stop conducted by FBI agents in New York City led to the search warrant in Elizabeth.
The search of Rahami’s home did not immediately reveal evidence that explosives had been assembled there, a federal law enforcement official told USA TODAY. The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, said investigators were searching for other possible locations the suspect may have used.
Officials were scouring Rahami’s communications to determine whether others may have assisted in the alleged planning, construction and the selection of targets.
Five people were questioned at length overnight and early Monday, but FBI Special Agent William Sweeney said no charged were expected to be filed against them.
The explosion in Chelsea rocked the neighborhood and blew windows out of buildings. An unexploded pressure-cooker device was also found four blocks away and was being analyzed by the FBI. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the bombs had some similarities but provided no other details.
Hours before the Chelsea blast, a pipe bomb exploded in a Seaside Park, N.J., trash can before a 5k charity run that was to benefit Marines and sailors. No one was injured but the race was canceled. New Jersey State Police posted a notice on Facebook saying Rahami was wanted for questioning in that blast.
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SOURCE: USA Today
Andrew Wyrich, Kevin Johnson and John Bacon