NEW YORK — Standing only yards away from where Bronx resident Richard Rojas started his deadly rampage on city sidewalks, NYPD Chief of Manhattan South Detectives Bill Aubrey said the following as he started his news conference Friday morning, "At this point in time we want to do a thorough investigation."
Chief Aubrey says his team of detectives along with investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office are working together towards one goal, "To determine the exact motivation and his state of mind of Richard Rojas."
Aubrey also added, "Everybody is cooperating because they see the carnage that happened yesterday and they want to help us with this."
Aubrey says they are probing into Rojas background through court orders as well as having in-depth blood work done through the Medical Examiner's office to very Rojas admission of drug use prior to the crash, "His preliminary tests that were done. They confirm what his statements were."
While the vehicle was removed from the site, it remains a key component of the investigation. When PIX 11 News asked if any drug paraphernalia was found in the car? Aubrey said, "We are still going through the vehicle, but at this time there is nothing that we found in the vehicle that would be out of the ordinary."
However, things were not the same among many sidewalks in Times Square. It was easy to detect the implementation of Jersey barriers overnight, as well as the return of tourists.
Terry Maiolo is visiting the city from Australia. While waking the stretch of sidewalk impacted on Thursday, he shared how a similar incident happened in his hometown, "A fella who turned his car and sped through a mall in Melbourne and killed three people I think, so very, very similar."
And as Maiolo took in the sights of Times Square, Bob, a hot dog vendor returned to his everyday spot, just a few feet away from where Rojas and his Honda came to a smashing halt, "Yeah I'm very lucky because I'm here. I see the car, I see the car."
Rojas on Friday faced a slew of charges, the most severe being 1 count of murder in the second degree and 20 counts of attempted murder in the second degree.