Federal agents and police in Upstate New York are investigating a deadly crash early Monday outside of a concert venue as a case of potential terrorism.
The crash caused a massive fire outside the city’s Kodak Center that took firefighters roughly an hour to put out.
Investigators told the outlet the Ford was packed with at least a dozen gas cans.
At approximately 12:50 a.m., as 1,000 people left the venue, the man behind the wheel of the Ford struck an Uber driver in a Mitsubishi Outlander.
Both vehicles then struck several pedestrians while narrowly missing others.
Two people in the back of the Mitsubishi were killed, while the driver was hospitalized and is expected to survive.
One of the struck pedestrians was in critical condition Monday. The others were said to have sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
The man police say is responsible for the fiery crash was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, WABC reported.
Local video journalist Seth Voorhees shared footage from the scene on the social media platform X:
Two people died and several others were seriously hurt in a fiery crash on West Ridge Rd. In Rochester early today. Police say pedestrians were among those injured. @SPECNews1ROC pic.twitter.com/icldze5B45
— Seth Voorhees 👍 (@SethVoorheesTV) January 1, 2024
Authorities are investigating why the man was driving a rented vehicle that was packed with gas cans. WABC quoted a law enforcement source briefed on the case as saying they are treating the incident as a possible act of terrorism.
The Rochester Police Department Bomb Squad and Joint Arson Task Force were at the scene while the FBI quickly joined local police in the investigation into the incident.
“The FBI Buffalo Field Office is assisting the Rochester Police Department in the investigation of a motor vehicle collision on West Ridge Road in Rochester,” the bureau’s Buffalo office said in a statement posted on social media. “As we continue to investigate and collaborate with our law enforcement partners, details are limited at this time.”
— FBI Buffalo (@FBIBuffalo) January 2, 2024
On Tuesday, police identified the driver of the Ford Explorer as Michael Avery of Syracuse and said at least nine pedestrians had been injured.
BREAKING: Rochester police update on New Year’s Day crash saying there’s no evidence of larger plot pic.twitter.com/XcJArcKl3p
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 2, 2024
WABC reported the suspect parked his own vehicle at the airport in Syracuse before he left in the larger SUV.
The band that was playing at the Kodak Center on New Year’s Eve, moe, issued a statement on Facebook that expressed sadness over the incident.
“Last night’s events outside the Kodak Center have left us all in profound shock and sadness,” the band wrote. “On a night that was meant for celebration and togetherness, we are faced instead with a tragedy that defies understanding.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.