WASHINGTON - After officials say a 29-year-old man in a rented truck plowed through several people on a busy bicycle path in New York City, killing at least eight people and injuring at least 11 more, in what is being described as a terrorist act, authorities in D.C. say they are keeping extra attention on any potential threats in the area. Halloween events and trick-or-treating Tuesday night added to the need for extra vigilance.
D.C. police released a statement Tuesday after the tragic incident took place saying:
The Metropolitan Police Department is aware of the situation unfolding in New York City and remains vigilant to any potential threats that may affect the DC area.
As the law enforcement agency responsible for protecting the nation's capital, we are actively working in coordination with our local and federal law enforcement partners, as well as homeland security agencies to ensure the safety of all visitors and residents to the District of Columbia.
As we continue to monitor the event that occurred in New York, we ask residents also to stay alert and to notify police immediately of anything suspicious. "If you see something, say something."
Our thoughts are with the people of New York and the families of the victims as they deal with this tragic incident.
"We always take extra precautions on Halloween evening," said D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham. "You will always the Metropolitan Police Department out in force."
"Well you said it exactly right, 'see something, say something,'" Newsham told FOX 5's Melanie Alnwick. "I think this reemphasizes with everybody that this type of thing can happen right here in the United States."
"We've seen the vehicle ramming occur in other parts of the world. now it's happened here at home in New York City," he said.
Newsham also the city is normally on high alert because it is the nation's capital, but they will be even more prepared in light of the event that took place in New York.
One of the busiest Halloween events that took place Tuesday night was in Georgetown. There was a heavy police presence there with officers seen stationed at every corner for several blocks. Officers said they added more police vehicles out on the streets in case of an emergency.