Investigators have identified the driver of a truck that plowed into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France this Thursday, killing over 80 people, including two Americans, and injuring over 200.
Officials say 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a French Tunisian, was previously unknown to French security services.
According to ABC News, Bouhlel lived in Nice with his wife and worked as a delivery driver. He was killed in a shootout with police while still in the 18-ton vehicle. His wife has been detained for questioning.
Officials recovered an automatic handgun, grenade and ammunition from the truck and seized computers and cellphones while conducting searches at two different addresses.
Although Bouhlel was not on investigators’ radar and showed no signs of radicalization, he was sentenced in March to a six-month suspended prison sentence for “use of a weapon.”
— ITV News (@itvnews) July 15, 2016
Witness reports say Bouhlel shouted “Allahu Akbar” just before he was shot dead by police. However, he was reportedly not known to be particularly religious. In May he was arrested for throwing a pallet at a motorist during a road rage dispute as his “life spiraled due to depression.”
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) July 14, 2016
Officials did not name the two Americans killed, although family members confirmed their identities as Sean Copeland and his 11-year-old son Brody.
“We are aware that two U.S. citizens were killed in the attack. We are working with local authorities to determine if other U.S. citizens were injured in the event,” according to a statement released by the State Department this morning. “We strongly urge U.S. citizens in Nice to be in direct contact with your family members in the United States and elsewhere to advise them of your safety.”
France’s prosecutor said at least 84 people, including 10 children, were killed and 202 others were injured. Among them, 52 are in critical condition.
Video has emerged of the gunfight that ended the incident, (via The Telegraph):