Ahmad Rahami, suspect in N.Y. and N.J. bombings, charged with attempted murder

NEW YORK (Tom Winter, Miguel Almaguer, Jonathan Dienst and Corky Siemaszko, NBC News) — The desperate search for a 28-year-old man wanted in connection with a series of blasts that terrorized New York and New Jersey over the last three days ended Monday in a gun battle with police officers.

Ahmad Khan Rahami was charged Monday evening with charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, according to the Union County, N.J., prosecutor.

The prosecutor's office also charged him with second-degree counts of unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. A state judge set bail at $5.2 million.

Rahami, who could face up to 20 years for each count of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, was taken into custody after he was shot in the leg during the 10:30 a.m. confrontation in Linden, N.J., law enforcement sources said.

Rahami managed to shoot one police officer in the hand and another in the bulletproof vest before he was apprehended, they said.

The injuries sustained by Rahami, who was being treated at University Hospital in Newark, and by the officers did not appear to be life-threatening, officials said.

"When I was at the scene, initially, he was conscious and awake," Linden police Capt. James Sarnicki said of the suspect.

Key developments

  • Authorities say flip phones used on explosive devices in Seaside, N.J., and the Chelsea section of Manhattan were bought at same store last year.
  • Unexploded devices were also discovered blocks from the Chelsea blast and near an Elizabeth, N.J., train station.
  • FBI agents in Brooklyn stopped "a vehicle of interest" in the investigation of the Manhattan explosion. Five occupants were detained for questioning.
  • The suspect traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan within the last 10 years.
  • Rahami's father, Mohammad Rahami, told NBC News he had "no idea" of what his son was planning.
  • The suspect was discovered sleeping in the doorway of a bar.
  • Congressman says Rahami sought help getting visa for pregnant Pakistani wife.

Rahami was captured after police got a call about a man sleeping in the doorway of a local bar, Sarnicki said.

When police arrived, one of the officers "tried to rouse him," Sarnicki said. "The gentleman on the ground picked up his head, and the officer saw that he had a beard and resembled the wanted person from the poster ... from the bombings."

After the officer ordered the suspect to show his hands, the man "pulled out a handgun and fired one shot at the officer, striking him in the abdomen," Sarnicki said. "Fortunately, the officer had a bulletproof vest on."

The Linden cops returned fire, hitting Rahami several times, Sarnicki said.

A local business owner told NBC News that he heard what he thought at first were fireworks.

"But then we took a peek, and there were cops firing, and the guy went down in front of the building," said the owner, who declined to give his name.

Read the full story at NBCNews.com.

Copyright 2016 NBC News


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