A driver who appears to have intentionally hit a group of pedestrians on a sidewalk in Northern California, leaving eight people injured, faces eight counts of attempted murder, Sunnyvale Public Safety Chief Phan Ngo said Wednesday.
The incident happened Tuesday evening in Sunnyvale. Police were called to the scene about 6:40 p.m., after the driver appeared to accelerate as he moved into a crosswalk full of pedestrians, Ngo said in a video posted to the department’s Facebook page.
A witness told investigators the driver was heard to say “something similar to, ‘Thank you, God,’” after plowing through the crosswalk and crashing into a tree, Ngo said. Evidence suggested the driver intentionally struck the pedestrians.
The victims ranged in age from 9 to 52, with a 13-year-old suffering the most serious injuries and admitted to a hospital in critical condition, according to Ngo. A 32-year-old woman, a 33-year-old man and a 52-year-old man suffered major injuries and were admitted in stable condition. The others were either treated at the scene or treated at hospitals and released.
The suspect was identified as Isaiah Joel Peoples, a 34-year-old Sunnyvale resident who was born in San Francisco, the public safety department said. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.
Peoples was arrested at the scene of the crash. He was unhurt.
Ngo said police obtained a search warrant for his apartment as part of the investigation.
No evidence has linked the suspect to any terrorist organization and it appears Peoples acted alone, Ngo said.
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