New York, NY - Port Authority Police officers were the first at the scene to take down the man suspected of detonating a pipe bomb in an underground corridor in New York City during rush hour on Monday.
Officer Anthony Manfredini was on patrol near the passage which connects the Times Square subway station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal’s subway lines, when he noticed people rushing from the area and saw smoke, the New York Daily News reported.
Officer Manfredini, a 28-year-old rookie on the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) called for back-up, and Officers Drew Preston, Jack Collins and Sean Gallagher responded.
As terrified commuters ran away from the explosion, the police officers ran toward it.
They spotted the injured bomber lying on the ground, reaching for his cell phone, and arrested him at gunpoint, police said.
Police said that wires ran from 27-year-old Akayad Ullah’s jacket to his pants, with something strapped to his torso under his coat.
“I got goosebumps. I just wanted to start crying,” said Angela Manfredini, the mother of Officer Manfredini, according to the New York Daily News.
“I'm just so proud of him and all the guys that are doing a great job for us and keep us safe every day,” she said.
Officer Manfredini, 28, previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years as part of a bomb detection K-9 unit. Officer Gallagher is also a former U.S. Marine.
Officer Preston is a 13-year U.S. Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, the New York Daily News reported.
His wife, Christine Ramagnano Preston, is more than 8 months pregnant with their second child.
She said Officer Preston called quickly after the incident to let her know he was okay.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a press conference following the incident.
“Let’s be clear, as New Yorkers, our lives revolve around the subways. When we hear of an attack on the subway, it’s incredibly unsettling. And let’s be also clear this was an attempted terrorist attack,” the mayor said.
“Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals. Thanks God our first responders were there so quickly to address the situation, to make sure people were safe. Thank God the only injuries we know at this point are minor,” he said.
There are no credible and specific threats against New York City at this time, the mayor said.
The New York Police Department has expanded its presence around all the city’s transportation hubs.
According to the mayor, New York Subway transportation had been restored at all points except at the 42nd Street Station. The Port Authority bus terminal was also reopened.