The driver who crashed his car into a crowd in NYC’s Times Square has been charged with second-degree murder.
Police say Richard Rojas seemed to be “emotionally disturbed” in his statements to officers after killing one person — an 18-year-old woman — and injuring 22 others on Thursday.
NYPD sources say the Bronx native told officials he experienced hallucinations, and later “alluded to suicide by cop” and “the end of days.”
Based on the 26-year-old’s statements and preliminary testing, police confirm he was allegedly “under the influence of a substance other than alcohol, which he ingested by smoking.”
Rojas was believed to be under the influence of synthetic marijuana. Sources told ABC News they also found indications he was interested in Scientology.
In addition to the murder charge, the former Naval officer faces five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and 20 counts of attempted murder.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said there is “no indication that this was an act of terrorism” at a Thursday press conference, as Rojas has two previous arrests for DUI.
Officials say the driver made an abrupt U-turn around noon in Midtown Manhattan when he drove his 2009 Honda Accord on the sidewalk on Seventh Avenue.
He hit pedestrians at a high speed for three blocks until the vehicle collided with a metal obstruction.
Rojas remains in the Midtown South Precinct for processing. He has not yet entered a plea.