Rojas was arrested Thursday afternoon after he drove his auto for three blocks in Times Square, hitting almost two dozen people before steel security barriers finally stopped him.
NEW YORK (AP) - A man charged with slamming his speeding auto into pedestrians on the sidewalks of Times Square, killing a teenage tourist and injuring almost two dozen people, said he wanted to "kill them all" and police should have shot him to stop him, a prosecutor revealed Friday.
Richard Rojas, 26, said he wanted officers to shoot him dead and was under the influence of the drug PCP and synthetic marijuana K2 - both of which can cause hallucinations.
Witnesses reported that he drove the wrong way and on a sidewalk for at least three blocks, mowing down pedestrians.
Rojas was remanded to custody today and will return to court on May 24.
He was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated in 2008 and 2015, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.
Times Square has reopened after being closed for hours following Thursday's deadly vehicle crash.
"It's a tough day for New York City, but as usual the people of New York City will stand firm, will be resilient", de Blasio said in a news conference.
"I was just doing something that I hope people would do, because I was trying to do the right thing", he said. Rojas was charged with misdemeanor battery and resisting an officer without violence, but it was unclear how the case was resolved.
When Long went outside and looked in the direction the vehicle had gone, she saw at least six people lying on the ground, including a woman lying face-down with blood pouring from her head.
The scene of a deadly crash in New York City's Times Square on Thursday.
After his arrest, Rojas told police he was "hearing voices" and expected to die, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. Up to 20 people might be injured and first responders are treating victims on the scene.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before NY authorities confirmed the death.
The video shows the suspect, who has been charged with the murder of an 18-year-old woman who died after she was hit by his vehicle, continuing to drive at a high speed through a pedestrian area even after numerous people are hit and some appear to go flying from the auto after high-speed impact.
Police do not suspect a link to terrorism.
Harlem resident Tyezhane, 20, who would only give her first name, said she was walking to work at a shoe store when she saw the auto on the sidewalk.
People caught up in the attack today said they had feared for their lives.Moro Omar, 32, a ticket agent from the Bronx, said: "I heard people screaming and shouting".