Undeterred by a deadly attack hours earlier and just a few blocks away, New Yorkers gathered Tuesday night in Manhattan’s West Village for Halloween festivities.
The 44th annual Village Halloween Parade went on as planned amid increased increased security after a truck tore through a bike path on New York City’s West Side Highway. The NYPD installed more personnel, blocker trucks and officers with long guns along the parade route, spokesman Eric Phillips said.
Some paradegoers said the attack gave them more reason to show up. If anything, they said they felt safe knowing security was stepped up.
“I definitely wanted to take the risk and support New York City. Why wouldn’t you come out here?” said one woman along the parade route.
“If you change your life then the bad guys win,” another attendee told CNN’s Jason Carroll.
Less than two hours after delivering updates in a news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo greeted revelers side by side at the parade.
“Tonight we’re at a Halloween parade to say you didn’t win and you didn’t affect us,” Cuomo told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “We’re doing what New Yorkers do.”
“We’re living our lives because we’re not going to allow the terrorists to win, period,” he said. “And that’s why I’m here marching in the parade, not because I have a great costume.”
The parade route began in Manhattan’s West Village, just a few blocks northeast of where the truck hit a school bus as it plowed down the riverside bike path. The driver, identified as Sayfullo Saipov, entered the path at Houston Street around 3:05 p.m., the NYPD said.
The suspect drove along the path on Manhattan’s western edge for blocks, hitting pedestrians and cyclists. The driver killed at least eight and injured almost a dozen others before hitting a school bus and exiting the car, leading to his capture after an officer shot him in the stomach.
It didn’t take long for social media to light up with #NYCStrong tributes pledging to not let fear win the day. Later on Tuesday, the World Trade Center lit up in red, white and blue in tribute to the victims.