A couple was killed and numerous others injured just hours into the New Year when a car filled with explosives barreled into a crowd of people leaving a rock concert in upstate New York, police said.
The fiery crash occurred at 12:50 a.m. outside the Kodak Center in Rochester, where roughly 1,000 people were filing out after a New Year’s Eve moe. show.
Rochester officers were helping pedestrians cross the street when a Ford Expedition sped toward the mob, but smashed instead into an Uber that was pulling out of a nearby parking lot, law enforcement sources said.
“The force of the collision caused the two vehicles to go through a group of pedestrians that were in the crosswalk and then into two other vehicles,” police Chief David Smith said at a press conference.
The cars exploded into an intense blaze that took the fire department nearly one hour to extinguish.
A couple riding inside the Uber were killed, while their driver was rushed to the hospital in non-life threatening condition, sources and police said.
Three pedestrians were struck by the flying cars — one of whom was left clinging to life.
The driver who tried to mow down the crowd was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
He died of his injuries around 8 p.m. Monday and was identified as Michael Avery, law enforcement sources told The Post.
After the fire was extinguished, investigators found at least a dozen gasoline canisters scattered across the pavement and inside the Expedition, according to Smith.
The incident is being investigated as possible domestic terrorism.
Avery, from Syracuse, had rented a hotel room in Rochester, where police conducted a search and recovered a suicide note and journal, according to law enforcement sources.
Investigators are reviewing the journal for any clues into the attack and have interviewed family members who said they believed the suspect had bipolar depression, though he was never officially diagnosed, the sources said.
Authorities are planning to conduct a search of a storage unit belonging to Avery in north Syracuse as well.
The homicidal driver rented the extra-large SUV before heading to the concert venue, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
“Obviously I would have been liking to stand at this podium to deliver Happy New Year and smile and say good news. But unfortunately today we don’t have good news because we have several individuals whose families’ lives are changed because they will not be here to bring in 2024,” Mayor Malik Evans said.
Members of moe., the Buffalo-based rock band who had been playing a show at the music venue before the incident, said they were left in “profound shock and sadness.”
It was the second night in a row the band had played at the Kodak Center to ring in the New Year.
“On a night that was meant for celebration and togetherness, we are faced instead with a tragedy that defies understanding,” moe. said in a statement.
“Take care of yourselves and each other, as we navigate this time together.”