NEW YORK – A law enforcement official says the Afghan immigrant wanted in connection with explosions in New York City and New Jersey has been taken into custody following a shootout with police officers.
The official says two officers were shot in the encounter in Linden, New Jersey. The person wasn’t authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Authorities were looking for Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan with an address in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage says county authorities told him that the officers shot in Linden are expected to be OK. He says was one was struck in a protective vest and the other in the hand.
Authorities say the man was found sleeping in a bar hallway before his arrest.
Linden, New Jersey, Mayor Derek Armstead says the owner of a bar found the man sleeping in his hallway Monday morning. He says the man was initially presumed to be a vagrant, but police officers who responded quickly realized it was Ahmad Khan Rahami.
Armstead says the man pulled out a handgun and fired at the officers, hitting one in a bulletproof vest. The man then began firing as he ran down the street and police shot him in the leg. The man was conscious when he was taken away in an ambulance.
Linden police Capt. James Sarnicki says three police officers were taken to the hospital. One was hit by shrapnel and another had high blood pressure.
A law enforcement official says investigators regard Ahmad Khan Rahami as the “main guy” behind explosions in New York City and New Jersey but plan to look into whether any other associates had a role or knowledge.
The official says investigators are not seeing connection between the explosions and a separate stabbing attack at a mall in Minnesota. President Barack Obama likewise said earlier Monday that investigators see no connection between the bombings and the stabbings.
The official, who was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity, also said Rahami was not believed to be on federal terror watch lists at the time of the explosions.