BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn (WABC) — Several people were struck and injured by a U-Haul truck in Brooklyn just before the driver told police he wanted to die.

The suspect is a 62-year-old homeless man who may have been living in a U-Haul truck, police said.

He hit at least one pedestrian in Bay Ridge before police tried to arrest him. When officers approached the suspect, he said “shoot me, I’m not stopping” and that he “wanted to die.”

Then he fled the scene and drove onto the sidewalk several pedestrians in just half an hour on a Monday morning.

At least eight people were injured, two of whom were taken to a local hospital in critical condition, police said.

VIDEO | Eyewitness News has obtained exclusive video of a man diving out of the way of a U-Haul truck seconds before being hit:

The suspect eluded police and entered the northbound Gowanus Expressway. He pulled onto Hamilton Avenue and was surrounded by police on Columbia Street in Red Hook near the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

New York City Councilman Justin Brennan tweeted about the incident in his district.

The police took the suspect to the 68th precinct for questioning.

An explosives squad was called to search the truck and found nothing suspicious, police said.

VIDEO | New York Police Commissioner Kichant Sewell held a press briefing in Red Hook:

A spokesman for Mayor Eric Adams said he had been informed and “there are no additional credible threats.”

Former NYPD chief of detectives and ABC News contributor Robert Boyce says it’s hard not to compare the case to a man who drove a truck down a crowded Manhattan street, killing several people in 2017.

Monday’s incident coincided with the start of the death penalty phase of Saipov’s trial.

“That’s the first thing I thought,” Boyce said. “I was involved in the Saifullah Saipov case, I remember how dangerous it was, what he did and how deadly it was. That was the first thing that came to mind when I heard about the rental truck. So let’s hope it’s not that, and this person is mentally disturbed at the moment and it’s nothing more than that. It’s hard to connect the two now, but how can you not think about it?”

VIDEO | Robert Boyce with the bomb squad investigating a U-Haul in Red Hook

The suspect rented a U-Haul back in January in Daytona Beach, Florida.

He has had previous ties to the city, including a previous run-in with police in 2019 in Queens. He also had at least one previous address in Brooklyn.

VIDEO | New York City Councilman Justin Brennan tells Eyewitness News about the details of the driver:


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