NEW YORK — The suspect who went on a violent rampage with a U-Haul truck in Brooklyn on Monday that left one dead and eight others injured is in custody, according to local news outlets.
During questioning at the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge, Weng Sor, 62, who is originally from Malaysia, admitted that he struck at least three to four people while driving the truck and explained that he wanted police to shoot him.
Sor made the statements, which were videotaped, after waiving his Miranda rights. He is charged with one count of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.
Over a 48-minute period, the truck mowed down pedestrians and people on bikes across eight different crime scenes in Sunset Park, Bay Ridge and Red Hook. The victims, all male, range in age from 30 to 66. One of those injured is a police officer. The 44-year-old man who died suffered a head injury, the NYPD said.
In a tweet that included bodycam footage, the NYPD said, “On Monday morning, with a man violently driving a U-Haul truck and striking people just blocks away, these 68th Precinct officers cleared dozens of elementary school children, teachers, and staff from this Brooklyn Playstreet in an effort to save lives.
“This is neighborhood policing and your officer’s actions further exemplify the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to protecting the communities we serve.”
Councilmember Justin Brannan posted on social media, “I just visited several of the victims of today’s brutal attack with Mayor [Eric] Adams. Sadly, as we arrived we learned one of the victims who was in critical condition had succumbed to his injuries. Please keep them all in your prayers tonight.”
Police examined the vehicle to make sure it didn’t contain explosives.
“We believe Mr. Sor was suffering from a mental health crisis. At this time there is no nexus to terrorism,” Chief of Detectives James Essig said.
Sor told police he saw an “invisible object” come toward his vehicle and said “I’ve had enough” before beginning what police described as a “violent rampage” through Brooklyn, Essig said, adding that when police finally stopped Sor near the Battery Tunnel he said to the officers, “You should have shot me.”
The suspect’s son, Stephen Sor, 30, told The Associated Press that his father had a history of mental illness and, until recently, was living in Las Vegas, where records show he was convicted and served time for multiple acts of violence, including stabbing his brother.
In Las Vegas, Weng Sor has eight prior arrests dating back to 2002 for DWI, evading a police officer, battery, resisting arrest, domestic battery, and battery with a deadly weapon.
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, in 2015 Sor and his brother were at their mother’s house in Las Vegas when they got into an argument, which escalated to violence when Sor hit and then stabbed his brother. Sor served about 17 months in a Nevada prison for that assault.
Court records show that Sor pleaded guilty in 2020 to a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to commit battery after a criminal complaint said he stabbed a person in the arm and another in the chest and/or stomach. He was sentenced to 364 days in county jail, with about 10 months of time already served.
Before pleading guilty in that case, the AP reported, Sor underwent months of evaluations at state psychiatric facilities until he was found competent to face charges.
“Very frequently he’ll choose to skip out on his medications and do something like this,” Stephen Sor said in an interview outside his Brooklyn home. “This isn’t the first time he’s been arrested. It’s not the first time he’s gone to jail.”
Sor was also stopped in South Carolina in the rented U-Haul on Feb. 5 for reckless driving and marijuana possession.
Sor rented the truck in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Feb. 1 and was due to return it there on March 3, U-Haul spokesperson Jeff Lockridge said. Sor provided a valid driver’s license and paid for a 30-day rental in advance.