The Navy washout who plowed his car through three blocks of sidewalk pedestrian traffic in Times Square on Thursday, was on a murder-suicide mission, police believe.
“You were supposed to shoot me! I wanted to kill them,” Richard Rojas, 26, told police after his bloody rampage, according to sources.
The killer, who has been arrested twice for drunken driving, was heading south on Seventh Avenue at 11:55 a.m. when he pulled a sudden U-turn at West 42nd Street, then barreled north — the wrong way — sending victims flying and witnesses running for their lives.Rojas, of the Bronx, finally crashed his Honda Accord into a stanchion at Broadway and 45th Street — then got out of the car and ran toward a group of people with his arms outstretched before being tackled by law enforcement, including a transit cop and an FBI agent.
“He was driving like a madman and screaming,” eyewitness Michael Rickerby, 24, a tourist from Tennessee, told The Post. “It looked like he was trying to hit people. He had the angriest, craziest face, and he was literally going after people.”
Witnesses watched in horror as Rojas’ car raced up the sidewalk, killing Michigan tourist Alyssa Elsman, 18, who was standing near her 13-year-old sister, between 42nd and 43rd streets.
The incident sparked fears of terrorism, but officials said they have no reason to believe that played a role in the carnage.
“Based on the information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terror,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Of the 22 injured, four were rushed to hospitals in serious condition, with open fractures and “multiple traumas,” officials said.
“None of those four are likely to perish. We’re very hopeful . . . that they will survive,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
Rojas was taken to the Midtown South Precinct station house, where he told police he had hoped to commit suicide-by-cop, sources said. He wasn’t drunk, but police suspect that he may have been using drugs, for which he was undergoing testing Thursday afternoon, sources said.