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RICHMOND, Va. -- Images of mangled bikes and dead bodies strewn along a New York City bike path in lower Manhattan hit close to home for Andrew Aquino.

"I've been riding my bike on that path for years. It was sort of a safe spot. I didn't have to worry about watching for traffic," Aquino said.

Aquino moved back to Richmond from New York City earlier this year and could not believe it when he read a news alert about a terrorist attack in his old neighborhood.

"I noticed it was two blocks from where I used to live," Aquino said.

He described the bike path and surrounding neighborhood of Battery Park City as an oasis in New York surrounded by green space just north of the World Trade Center.

"You can walk to ground zero and go and see those things, and so it was sort of a little hallowed and now, it's once again, something that's been tarnished," Aquino said.

Andrew Aquino

Authorities said the 29-year-old suspect rented a pick-up truck and then drove down the busy bike path killing eight people and injuring a dozen more.

"It's another place that was safe and has been sullied by the actions of a crazy person," Aquino said.

The suspect was shot and arrested by police.

Related: New York City terror attack suspect identified as Sayfullo Saipov