A man wanted for questioning in the bombings in Chelsea and Seaside Park was captured Monday after being wounded in a shootout with police that erupted when he was discovered asleep in the doorway of a Linden bar, law enforcement officials said.
Police had been searching for Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, for questioning in the explosions in Chelsea and Seaside Park. The owner of a bar in Linden reported someone asleep in the doorway of his business, a police officer went to investigate and recognized the man as Rahami, police said.
Rahami pulled a gun and shot the officer in the torso. Other officers joined in a gun battle and shot Rahami. Footage at the scene shows a conscious Rahami being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher.
Two officers were wounded in the gun battle but were not seriously hurt. They were both wearing bullet-proof vests.
Rahami’s arrest came just hours after police issued a bulletin and photo of Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan who lives in Elizabeth in an apartment above a fried-chicken restaurant owned by his father a few miles from the Newark airport. FBI agents swarmed the apartment early Monday.
Authorities said the blasts were looking increasingly like an act of terrorism with a foreign connection. They did not disclose how they zeroed in on Rahami as a person of interest in the bombing investigation.
The shootout came after a weekend of fear and anxiety in New York and New Jersey that had people on edge.
A pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park before the Seaside Semper Five Marine Corps Charity 5K Saturday. No injuries were reported. Later on Saturday night, a bomb injured 29 people in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, and an unexploded pressure cooker bomb was found in the area. On Sunday, five explosive devices were found in a trash can at an Elizabeth train station, which is on the Northeast Corridor line. One of the five devices found at the Elizabeth train station exploded while a bomb squad robot tried to disarm it. No one was injured.
New Jersey State Police said Monday that the bombings in Chelsea and Seaside Park were connected.