LINDEN, NJ — Authorities now say that Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Elizabeth man suspected of planting bombs in the region, was the one and only suspect in recent area bombings, contradicting an earlier announcement that he did not act alone.
Police found and arrested Rahami Monday morning after receiving a tip that there was a vagrant sleeping in the vestibule of a closed bar at 534 Linden Ave., according to Capt. James Sarnicki of the Linden Police. When officers arrived, they asked him to show his hands and Rahami began shooting, he said.
Rahami was taken to University Hospital in Newark where he was undergoing surgery, according Union County Prosecutor Grace Park's statement at the press conference,
Three police officers were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries after one was shot multiple times in the vest, one cut his hand on broken glass and another experienced dizziness.
Rahami is 28-year-old U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, according to the FBI. His last known address was in Elizabeth.
According to Elizabeth Councilman Carlos Torres, who has been speaking with police, authorities believe that Rahami played a role in the bomb that exploded in Chelsea, injuring 29 people, as well as one detonated in Seaside Park early Saturday and the bombs found in a backpack near the Elizabeth train station late Sunday night. One of those bombs went off while it was being examined remotely by a robot.
Homeland Security was at the scene in Linden. A perimeter at the Linden shooting scene was established and the bomb squad was on its way to the scene to investigate the contents of a suspicious backpack found at the site.
Sarnicki called it a “national crime scene.”
Autumn and Michael Kearstan, who live next door, said they could not return to their home after bringing their son to school Monday morning.
“We left the house at 9 o’clock,” Michael Kearstan. “When we came back at noon, we couldn’t get back into our house.”