The vehicle, a 2009 Honda Accord, struck 23 pedestrians, killing an 18-year-old tourist from MI, law enforcement sources said.
Authorities said Rojas drove from the Bronx to Times Square, where he sped into the bustling Crossroads of the World, hitting almost two dozen people on the sidewalk before steel security barriers finally stopped him.
A man accused of deliberately running down pedestrians in Times Square has told police he was "hearing voices" during the rampage.
Authorities and witnesses said Rojas drove his auto the wrong way up a Times Square street and plowed into pedestrians on the sidewalk.
A neighborhood friend in the Bronx, Harrison Ramos, said Rojas wasn't the same when he came back from the Navy in 2014.
"Alyssa was the type of person who seemed very shy and reserved when you first met her, but once you started talking to her you realized she was smart, amusing and engaging", Alburtus said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.
Two law enforcement officials say a driver accused of running down pedestrians in Times Square told officers he was hearing voices and expected to die.
Only a week ago, Rojas was arrested at his apartment in the Bronx for threatening another man with a knife.
Officials are awaiting toxicology results, though Rojas "had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady", during his arrest, the complaint said. He was in custody, and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney yet who could comment on his behalf.
Terrorism isn't suspected in the crash.
He was arraigned Friday on one charge of murder in the second degree, 20 counts of attempted murder in the second degree, and five counts of vehicular homicide, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
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One day after allegedly making a U-turn and steering the vehicle into the packed sidewalk for a three-block stretch, the 26-year-old suspect was arraigned on murder and other charges Friday. Police Commissioner James O'Neill says the crash doesn't appear to be related to terrorism.
Initial tests reportedly came back negative for alcohol but positive for drugs.
The sidewalks in many parts of Times Square and surrounding blocks are lined with metal posts created to prevent cars from getting onto the sidewalks and other public areas.
Brooklyn resident Asa (AY-suh) Lowe was standing outside the Levi's store enjoying the weather when he heard screaming around midday Thursday. The auto leaned on a lamppost and steel barriers meant to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.
"People just got stunned", Bruno Carvalho, a student at SUNY Albany, said.
The vehicle that Richard Rojas drove into pedestrians in NY.
Lowe says the driver then got out of his vehicle and started running until people tackled him.
When Long went outside, she saw at least six people lying on the ground, including a woman lying face-down with blood pouring from her head. Police do not suspect a.
"The only thing that prevented yesterday's tragedy from being much worse was these hardened pedestrian safety infrastructure that we now have in Times Square", White said.
A woman attends to an injured man on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City, May 18, 2017. Four other victims were in a critical condition on Friday. Press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before NY authorities confirmed the death.
The NYPD later said Rojas was arrested and was being tested for alcohol.
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