In one of the busiest sidewalks in the U.S., a man steered his car, mowing down pedestrians for three blocks before a row of steel security barriers finally stopped him told police he was "hearing voices," law enforcement officials said.
With a history of drunken driving, he is now charged with murder, attempted murder and aggravated vehicular homicide after an 18-year-old woman was killed and 22 other people were injured.
Police quickly tackled him and rushed him away from the bloody scene. He was taken from Midtown to the Seventh Precinct to undergo drug and alcohol testing.
Rojas was calm and quiet as police later led him out of the precinct hours later – a marked difference from just a few hours earlier. He was seen in a crosswalk moments before the crash, as looking completely crazed before he was taken into custody.
Police sources tell CBS2 that Rojas passed the breathalyzer test.
But sources said Rojas initially tested positive for marijuana. Further testing was under way late Thursday to determine whether there were any additional drugs in his system.
One surveillance video showed the maroon car jump the curb and slam into a group of people, sending bodies tumbling over the hood of the speeding Honda Accord.
The rampage killed Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old resident of Portage, Michigan, who had been visiting the city, and left four people in critical condition, officials said.
In addition to the murder charge, Rojas also faces 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, according to a press release from the New York City Police Department. The five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide is for the death of Elsman and four injured people who were in critical condition.
They are expected to survive, officials said.
Witness: Driver was screaming and flailing his arms
Witnesses described a harrowing scene that started with screeching tires and ended with screams, chaos and a fiery crash at one of the world's most visited sites.
There is no indication the incident, which unfolded just before noon, was an act of terrorism, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials said. It is being investigated as an accident, a police official said.