Authorities have ruled out domestic terrorism as a factor in the deadly car crash that occurred in the early hours of New Year’s Day outside of the Kodak Center in Rochester, New York, CNN reported.
The suspect, 35-year-old Syracuse resident Michael Avery, crashed a rented vehicle loaded with canisters of gasoline into another car outside of the Kodak Center just after the concert inside had ended, killing two people and injuring nine others. Avery also died in the crash.
Rochester Police Chief David Smith said on January 2 that there was no evidence found suggesting that Avery acted out of “political or social biases.”
FBI special agent in charge Jeremy Bell of the Rochester field office told reporters that so far, there was no evidence that Avery was motivated by an ideology, nor could investigators find a “nexus” to either domestic or international terrorism.
However, a law enforcement source told CNN that investigators are still looking into whether the motive could be linked to domestic terrorism.
Searches of Avery’s vehicle, the rented Expedition, and his hotel room turned up no suicide note or journal.
According to ABC News, at approximately 12:52 a.m. on January 1, Avery drove a rented Ford Expedition filled with gasoline canisters to the Kodak Center and slammed into a ride-share vehicle that was leaving the venue’s parking lot. The force of the collision caused the Expedition to burst into flames and sent both vehicles careening toward pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Avery was killed in the collision.
The two passengers in the ride-share vehicle, 29-year-old Joshua Orr of Webster and 28-year-old Justina Hughes of Geneva, were also killed in the crash. The driver of the ride-share vehicle was transported to the hospital suffering non-life-threatening injuries, according to Chief Smith.
According to CNN, Avery’s family told investigators that he was bipolar. However, he was never formally diagnosed with the condition.
Chief Smith said Avery had no prior contact with law enforcement.