A California man suspected of intentionally running into a crowd of pedestrians and cyclists, injuring eight, is reportedly an Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD.
Army veteran Isaiah Joel Peoples, 34, reportedly ran through a Sunnyvale intersection Tuesday evening and stayed there as police responded to the chaotic scene. A witness told the San Francisco Chronicle that Peoples emerged from his wrecked Toyota Carolla moaning, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.”
Prior to the crash, Peoples picked up food and was on his way to deliver it to his Bible study group, KNTV reported, citing police.
Police said three children were amongst the injured—with a 13-year-old girl remaining hospitalized in critical condition as of Wednesday. A 32-year-old woman, 33-year-old man, and a 52-year-old man were in stable condition with major injuries; the remaining victims were either released from the hospital or treated at the scene.
— Jean Elle (@nbcjeanelle) April 24, 2019
Another witness told The Chronicle reported that Peoples veered through the intersection at 60 mph. He recalled seeing a woman flying 10 feet in the air before crashing to the ground and spotting another person being thrown 30 feet from the intersection and landing in a bush.
Peoples’ brother told the Bay Area News Group that Peoples has struggled with PTSD after serving in Iraq but hasn’t had a violent episode before Tuesday. He claimed their mother could tell something was “off” with his brother, who was reportedly worried about the fate of his job as a government contract auditor.
“She said the way he was sounding, he was about to have another one of those episodes,” the brother told the Bay Area News Group.
The news outlet contacted Peoples’ employer, who described him as an employee in good standing.
The Army vet’s mother told the Associated Press that Peoples was an Army sharpshooter who was discharged in 2007 due to his PTSD. She recalled her son having a “bad episode” about two years ago.
Charged with eight counts of attempted murder, police reportedly said People didn’t express remorse for his actions. The FBI is reportedly assisting local authorities in investigating a motive in this case.
UPDATE per @SunnyvaleDPS Capt. Jim Choi on preliminary investigation: Driver deliberately drove into a group of 8 pedestrians. Driver in custody. Victims all transported to local hospitals. https://t.co/Pr8HNYmpn4 pic.twitter.com/VDInoFAHQt
— Kristofer Noceda (@krisnoceda) April 24, 2019
[Featured image: KGO-TV via AP]