A suspicious vehicle was first spotted around 8:30 a.m. outside the complex in Elmhurst that contains a Target, a Best Buy, and other businesses.
“They said they were propane tanks and wires protruding from the vehicle,” said John Miller, deputy commissioner of the NYPD intelligence and counterterrorism bureaus. “Police officers from the precinct responded, looked at the vehicle, and immediately began to tape off the area, evacuated the area around it.”
Authorities said it had a small can-like object attached to it, with wires, which may have been an intentional hoax.
A Black Lives Matter sign was attached to the can.
“The bomb squad goes into a set of procedures called render safe procedures, where they don protective equipment and assess what appeared to be a possible explosive device,” Miller said. “That is a laborious and meticulous process that takes some time, until they were able to clear this vehicle and determine that it was not an explosive device.
The NYPD eventually gave the all-clear sometime after 10 a.m.
Additionally, NYPD officers rescued a husky that was trapped inside the vehicle.
They immediately gave the dog some water, though it is not known how long the dog was left inside.
Sources tell Eyewitness News the suspect has been identified as Louis Shenker. Shenker was previously arrested on Dec. 30 for lighting a poster on fire, which was tied to an NYPD barricade.
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