October 31, 2017 5:06 PM EDT

Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature after a motorist drove on a Lower Manhattan bike path on Tuesday, leaving at least eight people dead and several others injured, the Associated Press reports.

Using Safety Check, Facebook users close to a disaster or crime scene can let friends and family know that they are safe. The feature also allows users to check the status of loved ones who may have been close to a dangerous event. Facebook turns on Safety Check when a high volume of people in a given geographic area post about an emergency situation.

The suspect in the incident drove a rented Home Depot onto the West Street pedestrian and bike path in Lower Manhattan, according to police. After hitting multiple pedestrians and cyclists, the driver drove south and struck a vehicle. A man left the vehicle, took out two imitation guns and was shot by police before being taken into custody, the New York Police Department said.

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Write to Jamie Ducharme at jamie.ducharme@time.com.

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