Bombing suspect captured amid gunfire in New Jersey

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Monday, September 19, 2016
Bombing suspect arrested
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Bombing suspect arrested

NEW YORK CITY -- The man believed to be behind weekend bombings in Chelsea, Seaside Park and Elizabeth has been taken into custody following a incident with police in Linden, New Jersey.

Law enforcement sources say Ahmad Khan Rahami was captured following gunfire. He is alive but wounded, and two police officers were also injured.

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said, "At approximately 10:30 this morning, the owner of one of the establishments in town reported that there was an individual sleeping in his hallway. One of our police officers went to investigate, to wake him up, and realized that he was the suspect that has been sought in the other bombings that had occurred prior... He realized it was the suspect, and within moments, the suspect had fired on him. And thank God that he had his vest on. I think that saved his life."

Linden PD Captain James Sarnicki added, "When the officer tried to rouse the man in the doorway, when the man picked up his head, he noticed that the man had a beard and he looked like the suspect being sought. So he told him to show his hands, and the suspect had his hand on his side ... he pulled out a handgun, and he fired a shot at the officer, striking him in his bulletproof vest in his abdomen. At that point, the officer returned fire."

Police say Rahami was firing indiscriminately as he was walking down the street. As additional officers responded, more shots were fired, and police finally took him down.

The FBI had earlier released a wanted poster for the 28-year-old Rahami, who was said to be operating a 2003 Blue Honda Civic bearing NJ registration D63EYB. He may be related to five people who were taken into custody for questioning by the FBI in connection with Saturday night's bombing in Chelsea.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he could be armed and dangerous.

The governor of New York now says it looks like Manhattan bombing could be act of terrorism with foreign connection.

The FBI is questioning five people who were taken into custody in connection with Saturday's bombing in Chelsea.

At 8:45 p.m. Sunday the FBI and NYPD conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle of interest in the investigation into the bombing.

PHOTOS: Explosion in Chelsea

The men were in a car stopped on the Belt Parkway. They were headed from Staten Island to Brooklyn on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Five people inside, possibly family members and from New Jersey, were taken to an FBI building for questioning. There were concerns they may have been on their way to the airport.

No one has been charged yet with the explosion, and the investigation is currently ongoing.

Twenty-nine people were injured in the blast that occurred on West 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday night.

"This was an intentional act, but we do not know the motivation. That's what we have to do more work on," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We know there was a bombing. We will be very careful and patient to get to the full truth here."

While the investigation of the Chelsea blast continues, only one block of West 23rd Street remains closed, between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue.

Subway service as resumed, including on the number 1 line, where train station stops at 23 St and 28 St has been restored in both directions.

During this time, the exit staircase at the northeast corner of 23 St and 7 Av remains closed. Passengers can use the staircase located on the southeast corner of 23 St and 7 Avenue.

New York City will open a Resident Service Center which will be located inside of the NYC Emergency Management vehicle located on the northeast corner of West 23rd Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan. Assistance will be available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

We're following this story on Eyewitness News. Watch for updates on air, online and on our mobile news app.

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