Authorities in New York say a woman was killed and seven members of her family were injured near a business in Haverstraw when a man drove into them, backed up and struck them again.
According to CBS News, the relatives were in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven convenience store on Wednesday when the incident occurred.
In addition to hitting the eight relatives — including six children — with his car, police say the suspect also drove into the storefront, causing unspecified property damage.
Officers and emergency personnel arrived on the scene a short time later. Police reportedly encountered 35-year-old Jason Mendez armed with a knife he refused to drop when given the instruction.
In response, police reported that they deployed a stun gun and took him into custody. Investigators believe he might have been motivated to drive into the victims when the father asked him to stop blowing smoke in the direction of the children.
The eight alleged victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment and the 32-year-old mother was pronounced dead a short time later. Her 35-year-old husband and their six children under 10 years old are expected to survive their injuries.
In a statement on the matter later the same day, Haverstraw Police Capt. Martin Lund expressed dismay over the senseless crime.
“It doesn’t happen very frequently in our community,” he explained. “It is a tragedy that happened today.”
The suspect was arrested and is expected to face criminal charges including one count of murder in the second degree and seven counts of attempted murder. Court records indicate he is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
He initially pleaded not guilty at his arraignment hearing on Wednesday, as reported by the New York Post.
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