One person was killed, and eight others were injured when a U-Haul driver swerved onto sidewalks in New York City and plowed into bicycles and moped riders on Monday.
According to authorities, the driver began running down pedestrians after spotting an “invisible object” approaching the truck.
In connection with the 48-minute rampage that covered a significant portion of Brooklyn’s busy Bay Ridge neighborhood, Weng Sor, 62, was charged on Tuesday with murder and attempted murder.
After a mile-long chase, police were able to pin the truck into a building. Regarding a wounded police officer, authorities debated whether to press charges.
Sor, whose family and court records show them as a troubled guy with a history of violence and mental illness, told police that once he saw the unseen item, he’d “had enough” and began slamming into people, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said during a Tuesday news conference.
Essig claims Sor told the police they should have shot him after being stopped.
Essig reiterated that there is no proof of a connection to terrorism and stated, “We believe Mr. Sor was experiencing a mental health crisis.”
Tuesday, Sor remained in police detention. He was scheduled to be formally charged late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday.
No attorney listed in the court records could speak on his behalf.
The U-Haul struck three individuals on mopeds, three on bicycles, one on an e-bike, and one on foot, police said.
The police officer inside the automobile was hurt when the truck collided with it. The ages of the fatalities ranged from 30 to 66.
About 30 minutes after the first victim was hit by the truck, a 44-year-old man on a scooter died from a head injury.
The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, is a single father who is “raising those children on his own,” according to Mayor Eric Adams.
On February 1, Sor rented a U-Haul truck in West Palm Beach, Florida, paying upfront for a 30-day lease. He stayed there until February 4 before leaving.
On Feb. 5, Sor was pulled over in South Carolina and cited for careless driving and marijuana possession.
He landed in Brooklyn the next day, startling his son when he showed up at his door in the middle of the night.
Stephen Sor, 30, Weng Sor’s son, revealed to The Associated Press that his father formerly resided in Las Vegas and had a history of mental illness. Records show that he was found guilty and sentenced to several violent crimes, including stabbing his brother.
Stephen Sor revealed in an interview conducted outside of his Brooklyn home that Stephen Sor frequently decides to forego taking his prescriptions and carry out actions like this.
He’s been arrested before, so this isn’t the first time. It has happened before.
According to Essig, on February 8th, Sor was pulled down by police for speeding in a U-Haul on a Brooklyn route that was off-limits to truckers and other commercial vehicles.
After that, he was discovered in New Jersey on Sunday, the day before the chaos in Brooklyn, according to Essig.
In 2002, Sor was detained for driving while inebriated and dodging a police officer and for various violent offenses.
According to court and prison records, Weng Sor stabbed his brother in Las Vegas in 2015 and spent roughly 17 months behind bars in Nevada.
He used a knife to stab someone in the arm and chest in 2020, receiving a 364-day county jail sentence with about ten months already served.
According to court records, Sor was evaluated at state psychiatric hospitals for several months before entering a guilty plea in that case before being deemed competent to stand trial.
The records mention that Sor was given medication but did not provide a potential diagnosis.
In a previous case in Nevada, Sor was sentenced to community service and therapy after entering a guilty plea to criminal violence in 2005.
Sor had to submit a mental health evaluation after moving to New York, as the judge had indicated at the time.