LINDEN — A bloody shootout on a New Jersey street ended Monday with the capture of a suspect in the bomb blast that wounded 29 people Saturday in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, authorities said.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, and two Linden police officers were wounded in the gunfight — hours after authorities found more explosives at a New Jersey train station, raided an apartment nearby, issued a wanted poster and began to link the blast with other bombs.
The intense manhunt came to a swift conclusion after Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan, was found sleeping in the doorway of a bar, Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said. Rahami shot the responding officer – who was wearing a protective vest – in the abdomen, Armstead said.
Rahami then began shooting “indiscriminately” along Elizabeth Avenue, the police said, and another officer was injured in the hand. More officers joined the gunbattle, and Rahami was shot in the leg and arm before being taken into custody, police Capt. James Sarnicki said.
"We have reason to believe this was an act of terror," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said. He added: "There is no other individual we are looking for right now."
More on the NYC-area bomb scare:
The FBI wanted poster, issued hours before the arrest, warned that Rahami "should be considered armed and dangerous."
Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said he believed Rahami would be charged with shooting the police officers Monday in Linden. As far as bomb-related charges, “we’re going to take a lot of care, and a lot of time’’ before proceeding to court.
FBI Special Agent William Sweeney said there was no indication that Rahami was part of a terror cell.
Rahami's last known address was listed in neighboring Elizabeth, and federal authorities conducted a raid there Monday at an apartment above a fried chicken restaurant operated by Rahami's father.
Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said a traffic stop conducted by FBI agents in New York City led to the search warrant for the apartment in Elizabeth. The search did not immediately reveal evidence that explosives had been assembled there, a federal law enforcement official told USA TODAY. The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, said investigators were searching for other possible locations the suspect may have used.
"It was open all hours of the night,'' generating a multitude of noise complaints, he said. The ordinance applied specifically to that particular restaurant, not all eateries in the city, he said. The owners later sued the city to have the measure overturned, but they lost the case, the mayor said.
The bomb emergencies caused massive delays for NJ Transit services and Amtrak trains, affecting thousands of passengers. Amtrak schedules returned to normal Monday morning while some NJ Transit trains reported delays into the day due to the continued police activity in Elizabeth.
Mayor de Blasio said people will see "a very large NYPD presence this week."