The man who plowed his car through a crowd of pedestrians Tuesday night is an Iraq War veteran with post traumatic stress disorder, according to several reports.
“Sunnyvale Police Department said in a tweet that the suspect is Isaiah Joel Peoples, a 34-year-old resident of Sunnyvale,” said CBS13. “He was arrested Tuesday night after speeding through an intersection and crashing his Toyota Corolla into a tree. The conditions of the injured, which included a 13-year-old girl, were not immediately disclosed.”
Peoples’ mother told Associated Press that he suffered from the common post-war mental health disorder, and that he received inpatient treatment for PTSD in 2015.
“She couldn’t fathom any situation in which her timid son would deliberately crash into innocent people, other than something related to the PTSD he experienced after serving as an Army sharpshooter in Iraq,” according to the CBS report.
The Pentagon confirmed his status as a military veteran.
His mother “said her son graduated from Sacramento State University after returning from Iraq in 2007. But he did have “a bad episode” with PTSD about two years ago and Peoples said her son told her he has been regularly taking medication since,” according to the report.
She also said he did not have any friends, other than the people he worked with.
Witnesses told local news outlets that he was muttering “thank you Jesus,” and “thank you Elijah” during his arrest after the crash.
Big League Politics reported early Wednesday morning on the crash:
Tuesday evening, a driver in Sunnyvale, California deliberately ran over eight people with his car, police believe, according to multiple news reports.
“A car plowed into a group of pedestrians in Sunnyvale, California Tuesday night, and police say the crash may have been intentional,” said ABC7. “Eight victims were taken to the hospital, some with serious injuries. The driver was arrested.”
The name of the driver has not been released.
“Around 6:40 p.m., a man in a dark sedan was seen by witnesses speeding through the busy intersection before plowing through the group of people,” the report continued. “The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety said the group was possibly targeted by the driver, a man who they believe purposely turned into the group while driving full speed.”
The accident did not make many national headlines. Only local California news outlets have reported on the event.
According to the report, the youngest victim was a 13-year-old girl. The rest are adults. Police are investigating the motive for the alleged crime.
Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Capt. Jim Choi spoke with local media.
“Looks like it might have been an intentional act,” he said. “All of that is under investigation at this time. The driver is in custody. We do have witness statements that show that vehicle did not attempt to slow down or brake. And the scene itself doesn’t show any evidence of braking. It’s very unusual. The city of Sunnyvale is a very safe city, so, to hear about a tragedy like this, it’s just unheard of.”
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