Top scorers on 2017 entrance exam earn scholarships

The following students received the top ten scores on the 2017 Cathedral Preparatory School Entrance Exam. Their results are extraordinary in a highly competitive field and we are very proud of their accomplishments.

Several eighth grade students representing over 30 different parochial, public, and private schools sat for the exam. Clearly this is no small achievement on their part.

1. Ridgeway Case, Seton Catholic School ($2500 Tuition Scholarship)

2. Logan Nikolai, Blessed Sacrament School ($2500 Tuition Scholarship)

3. Nicholas Fornelli, Saint Jude School ($2500 Tuition Scholarship)

4. Andrew Kolodychak, Our Lady of Peace School ($2500 Tuition Scholarship)

5. Connor Benson, Walnut Creek Middle School ($2500 Tuition Scholarship)

6. Luke Markiewicz, Saint Luke School ($1000 Tuition Scholarship)

7. Jackson Mattocks, Seton Catholic School ($1000 Tuition Scholarship)

8. Jake Walden, Saint Jude School ($1000 Tuition Scholarship)

9. Michael Jenks, Walnut Creek Middle School ($1000 Tuition Scholarship)

10. Michael Vereb, Our Lady of Peace School ($1000 Tuition Scholarship)

Student Profile: Alec Thomas

Alec Thomas is well known for his talent in the swimming pool. Since freshman year, he has competed in various swim meets for Prep’s varsity team. His ability has brought in Division I offers from various schools all over the country. With all this recognition, many people are astounded to learn that Alec also competes and excels at another sport, tennis.

Alec has been playing tennis since he was three years old. His mom, a former division one tennis player for Duquesne University, introduced him to the sport. “One of my earliest memories is my Mom tying a tennis ball from our garage, then handing me a kick-start tennis racquet.” As a result, tennis has always been a big part of his life.

Throughout his years, Alec approached tennis as a break from swimming year round. “It’s something that I really enjoy, and it gives me a mental break to get my hunger back for swimming.” By being a two-sport athlete, tennis has been a huge contribution to Alec’s mindset as an overall competitor. “The biggest thing I have learned from tennis is that you’re never out of it.” This mentality has allowed him to win D-10 tennis matches and also break countless swimming records. “There have been moments where I’ve had to dig deep and find a completely new level.”

As someone whose main sport is not tennis, Alec’s game-plan is specialized just for him. “I approach a tennis match different from swimming. My main goal is to make my opponent as uncomfortable as possible.” This gives him a strategic mental edge over his opponents.

Currently, Alec’s biggest influence has been Prep tennis coach Pat Grab. Grab was the person who influenced him to go to Prep. “Going to Prep was not very enticing for my family. I was supposed to swim for Mercyhurst,” he recalled. Grab introduced Alec to what it meant to be surrounded by people who wanted to win just as much as he did. Prep enticed Alec to be part of something greater than himself, being able to represent an established sports program but also forge his own path. “Pat has helped me in all facets of my life. He’s fully involved in my development as an athlete.”

Being on the tennis team has given Alec long lasting relationships throughout his four years at Prep. He remarked, “I’m great friends with everyone on the tennis team.” The way he looks at it is through two sides of being a good teammate, being a supporter and a leader. As a supporter, Alec will be the loudest guy in the stands when cheering on his teammates. As a leader, he’s responsible for holding everyone accountable. “If someone messes up, I’ll let them know.”

Although tennis is an individual sport, Alec cherishes its team aspect. “It feels good to play for a school that I’ve grown to love, knowing that my teammates have my back is a great feeling.” For the younger guys, “I want them to know that failure is going to happen. It’s all about what you make of it. Going through failure only makes winning that much better.”

This year, Alec already has his sights set on a state championship for both doubles and singles. “I’m trying to work hard on being a good doubles partner.” This is his last year, and he expects to make the best of it. Expect big things from Alec Thomas not only in the pool but also on the court.

Student Profile: Keegan Welka

Keegan Welka is currently a junior at Cathedral Prep. One of Keegan’s favorite things to do is to go snowboarding. Before he started snowboarding he used to ski. Keegan made the transition from skiing to snowboarding back in his 8th grade year. His friends were the biggest impact on him going from skiing to snowboarding.

Keegan is a part of the ski club at Prep and goes snowboarding at the Peek’n Peak resort almost every Friday during the winter. Other than the Peak he said that he’s been snowboarding at Seven Springs, Holiday Valley, and went on the Vermont skiing trip for Prep. When asked about his favorite part about snowboarding he said, “Being able to go out and snowboard with his friend is definitely the best part.” Although Keegan has not been in any snowboarding competitions he said, “One day I would definitely like to get to that point to be in a competition.”

When Keegan first started snowboarding he did take some lessons throughout his first year to get the basics down. Keegan is still working hard to improve on his snowboarding skills. He said, “Right now I’m trying to focus on my tricks, and to be fearless about it because the worst thing you can do when approaching tricks is to be timid.” He stated, “I probably go snowboarding around 20 times per year.” Keegan is also very into watching the X-Games and looks up to the snowboarders that participate in it.

Making the choice to snowboard instead of ski is a choice Keegan has no regrets about. “I couldn’t be happier with my decision,” Keegan stated when asked if he made the right choice to start focusing on snowboarding over skiing. Keegan is looking forward to another great snowboarding season this upcoming winter and hopes to develop even more skills and tricks.

Prep’s 2nd Annual Shark Tank allows students to pitch products to local area business leaders

The idea of starting your own business is quite an anomaly for the average high school student. Mr Bhatti’s entrepreneurship class gives students an introduction to the intricacies of owning a businesses. One of the class’s main aspects is creating a product and presenting it to a panel of successful investors and entrepreneurs in the Erie area. This idea was derived from the mainstream TV show Shark Tank.

“I wanted to add a real life aspect to the class. This model gives students the ability to make a business with the potential of becoming invested,” Mr Bhatti said. These investment possibilities gives students even more incentive to provide an excellent product. Presentation skills are put to the test in order to add credibility to one’s business model.

Groups presented various products to the particular investing panel in the Prep library. Panelists included Bill Scholz, Owen McCormick, Adam Williams, Brian Slawin, Alex Brychowoski and Carl Nicolia. They listened intently to all of the proposals and gave feedback on ways to improve. Many were genuinely interested in the products, asking further questions about their capabilities in the market place.

The products included XoTic Cloting Line, GoFitness App, Porto-Poddy Charger, Dripless Coffee Mug, Lacrosse Solutions Redesigned Lacrosse Stick, and Kicker Pro. Each team used their personal knowledge and experiences when it came to making a product. Nate Fisher, a Prep lacrosse player, redesigned a lacrosse stick to help with passing and catching. His design was a more adapted version of the original sticks Native Americans used. It was clear that many of the panelists were intrigued with his creative design. Fisher commented, “It was a fun time putting my idea into action and presenting it to people who could help and give me advice.” He encourages more people to take the class and try Shark Tank out.

Another stand out product was Kicker Pro, a redesigned football with sensors that monitor kicking ability. This was made by seniors Adam Upperman, Anthony Lupo, and Alex Douds. Anthony Lupo used his knowledge of being a kicker on Prep’s football team to make an innovative product. Upperman stated, “This presentation went really well. It gave me a lot of knowledge and encouragement for any exhibition I give in the future.”

Overall, Prep’s second annual Shark Tank was a great success. Each presentation was professionally done, and impressive to each panelist. This rendition has more people excited for what the future of Prep’s “Shark Tank” holds.

Cavaliers in a slump while the Celtics keep rolling

The NBA off-season has thrown every fan for a whirlwind by the various and almost outlandish trades made by many teams. Specifically in the east, Cavaliers fans were shocked when star point guard Kyrie Irving requested to be traded. Many people thought Kyrie was crazy, leaving a team that made it to the NBA Finals for the past three years. However, the organization accepted his request, trading him to the Boston Celtics for their star point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, and a first round pick. For a fantastic player like Irving, fans from both sides argued about who “won” the trade. After the trade was finalized, Irving stated in his Boston Celtics press debut that he wanted to get away from the shadow created by arguably the best NBA player in the world, LeBron James.

As soon as the trade happened, each team made respective moves to attempt to be the best team in the East. Almost like something out of a movie, James’ Cavaliers and Irving’s Celtics faced off against each other in their home opener. However, this game was no longer about the duel about these two great players, instead focusing on the tragedy of another. Six minutes into the game, another key Celtic’s acquisition, Gordan Hayward, went down with a terrifying leg injury. This injury was a complete shock to anyone watching the game, whether at home or in the arena. Many basketball fans around the world thought the Celtics season ended six minutes into their beginning. Despite the injury, the Celtics continued to fight. The game ended with the Cavaliers winning 117-104.

The current NBA season is now 14 games in; and there is a surprising discrepancy between the Cavaliers’ record and Celtics’ record. According to NBA standings, the Celtics are number one in the east with a 12-2 record. The Cavaliers have had a slow start to the season, and currently sit at number 9 in the east with a 7-7 record. What surprises most fans is the Cavaliers’ disastrous slow start and the Celtics’ fantastic winning streak. The break down of these two teams play is important to understand their difference in record.

First is defense, the Cavaliers defense has been terrible whereas the Celtics have really stepped it up. According to ESPN, the Celtics have improved their defensive rating by 9.6 points from last season, the best improvement in the NBA. In contrast, the Cavaliers are dead last in the league for points allowed per possession. CBS specifically outlined how the worst defense has been with the perimeter players, that independently collapses defenses on the outside and interior. Various news sites have remarked on Irving’s newfound defensive ability; his length makes him a tough match up against other point guards.

Second is simply team play, the Celtics have dispersed their talent throughout the entire team, even with the loss of Gordon Hayward. Specifically, the Celtics’ young players, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, have stepped up to a more dominant role on the team. Jaylen Brown, an already great perimeter defender, has stepped up his offensive capabilities. Jayson Tatum has also stepped up wherever his team needs every single game. Brad Stevens commented on team’s ability, “We’re in a situation right now where we’re going to expect a lot out of those guys and we need them to be great, we need them to be able to respond to adversity, and we need to be able to respond to pats on the back just the same.” The Cavaliers new additions have not been as exciting. While they acquired LeBron’s best friend and former heat teammate Dwayne Wade, they are not able to re-spark the chemistry they had back in Miami. The Celtics spread their offense really well, each player may take over depending on the game. Whereas, the Cavaliers continue to become increasingly reliant on solely LeBron.

The NBA season is still a long way from ending. If the Celtics continue to keep the streak alive, they will have a very successful season. However, when playoff time comes, the Cavaliers might change their ways and be back to the successful team that everybody knows. This rivalry for best team in the east will be very fun to watch.

November 5 tornado damages homes, businesses on Erie’s west side

This past Sunday, Erie citizens residing anywhere from 26th and Peninsula to 36th and Washington were struck with a lethal storm. The storm was responsible for the deaths of two Erie men along with much destruction. This was the first time in recent memory that a tornado formed within city limits and swept through neighborhoods, as well as major roads. The cleanup process quickly began following the damage, but restoring power to some areas took time.

It all began on the evening of Nov. 5 when a sudden downpour of rain occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. As the rainfall increased, lightning began striking dangerously close to homes resulting in power outages lasting longer than 24 hours. Trees spilled onto not only roads but vehicles and houses as well. Many streets were completely taped off by city officials, law enforcement, service workers, tree removal companies, and private contractors in an attempt to restrict as much attention from the most serious cases as possible and to neutralize the damage. Sometime prior to 7:30 p.m., a tornado struck many residential areas.

Erie native Paul Snyder spoke of his experience saying, “All of a sudden, rain started coming down very hard. Then, there was a brief calm before what sounded like a freight train coming through my backyard. The trees in my backyard were almost horizontal to the west and then to the east. You couldn’t see anything, and there were papers flying all around inside. During the aftermath, we opened the front door and our tree was up against our house, and as we looked down the street, it resembled a war zone. I never saw wind with that much force in my life.”

Many businesses and non-residential buildings faced similar conditions to Snyder’s that night. The Belle Valley Fire Department was severely flooded. The Milcreek Township School District administration’s office roof was severely damaged. The Hong Kong restaurant’s windows were shattered by wind gusts just to name a few. Large trees were completely uprooted from the ground. A power line even fell onto a car and set it on fire on the 3400 block of Allegheny Road. To say the least, this storm has sparked a sense of appreciation among those who endured the threatening nature of Nov. 5, an appreciation for what we all take for granted (utilities, city service employees, and their own neighbors). It was amazing to see people in the streets helping each other remove debris, cautioning others of downed power lines, and offering refuge if one’s power was out.

Not all can be quite as thankful though. Two men tragically were killed in the basement of their home. Extreme flooding caused the wall to cave in and eventually lead to the death of 2 innnocent lives. The families need our help. It is time to see what Erie is made of and how much we care for our neighbors. As if the death to these men didn’t carry enough horror, the home was later robbed and stripped of their firearms and electronics. These were men with families who need a helping hand through their struggles. If interested in contributing to the funeral expenses to further assist the families, please visit for more information.

2017 Midseason NFL Awards

Through 9 weeks of the 2017-18 NFL regular season, here are my picks for the midseason NFL awards:

Offensive Player Of The Year: The best offensive player through the first half of the season has undoubtedly been Carson Wentz. The one-year pro out of FCS North Dakota State is absolutely lighting the NFL on fire and quickly wiping away any remaining doubts due to his lackluster collegiate competition. Wentz has propelled the 8-1 Eagles atop the NFL. Although he withstands a below average rushing attack, inconsistent offensive line play, the absence of an elite receiver, and a lack of depth in his receiving corps every week, he has still found a way to get it done. He leads the NFL in passing touchdowns, is fourth in passing yards, and fourth in quarterback rating despite being sacked the eighth most of all passers in the league. He is able to beat teams through the air with his unique blend of poise, leadership, and accuracy, and he also can beat teams on the ground with his speed and athleticism. He is the future of not only the Eagles but the entire NFL.

Defensive Player Of The Year: Arguably the best free agent signing of the 2017 NFL offseason has been the Jacksonville Jaguars taking a gamble on the 31-year-old Calais Campbell. The longtime Cardinal hit the free agent market, and the Jaguars reeled him in. I’m sure they’re fairly happy looking back on that decision. Campbell has been a nightmare on the interior of the Jaguars defensive line. This is the defense the front office has been building for years and fans have been eagerly awaiting. Campbell leads the NFL with 11.0 sacks including a 4-sack performance against Houston. There seems to be no shortage of gas left in the tank for veteran. He still helps plenty in the run game and has been a handful for offensive lines and quarterbacks alike. He is so effective in every facet of the game no matter where he is lined up at. Campbell has been nothing short of dominant during the first half of the season and it finally looks like that ferocious Jacksonville defense is coming to fruition.

Defensive Comeback Player Of The Year: After registering only a single sack, dealing with injuries, sustaining a 4-game suspension, and only appearing in 9 games last year, DeMarcus Lawrence has completely changed the identity of the Dallas pass rush this year. He sits at the number two spot in sacks, trailing only Calais Campbell by 0.5, with 10.5. Lawrence has always been a talented athlete, evidenced by his 8.0 sacks back in 2015. If Dallas can keep him motivated, he could be the future of a scary front seven. The Cowboys have been in desperate search of a defensive player to build that side of the ball around, and it seems they are finally forming a solid young nucleus led by Lawrence. He has been an unstoppable force on the outside and has regularly sought special attention by offenses. Although early, it looks as though the Cowboys finally found their long-awaited bookend on the defensive line, which makes everyone’s job a little easier.

Offensive Rookie Of The Year: No rookie has had a more remarkable impact on the game than Deshaun Watson in 2017. Watson has had an undeniable role in bringing the Texans to their current win total. The Texans began the season hoping that Tom Savage could manage his way to low scoring victories thanks to Houston’s dominant defense. Well, neither of those assumptions turned out to be true. Savage was replaced by Watson opening day, and the defense has dealt with constant injuries. So, how did Watson handle the pressure? He took charge and single-handedly transformed his unit into the number one offense in the league with him under center. Despite only starting in seven games, he has thrown for the second most touchdowns and holds the sixth best QBR in the NFL. He has been a pure gunslinger and has even produced monster games against top defenses (Tennessee, Kansas City, Seattle). Watson also dominated games on the ground and was the ultimate dual threat before suffering a torn ACL during practice before Week 9.

Defensive Rookie Of The Year: Although T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers seems to be the popular pick for DROY and looks the best on paper, Tre’Davious White has quietly been the best defensive rookie through the first 9 weeks. After losing Stephon Gilmore in free agency and Ronald Darby in a trade with Philadelphia, the team was forced to put their hope in the rookie LSU product handling number one cornerback duties. White has quickly become a staple of the surprisingly good defense. He is emerging as a legitimate shutdown cover corner. White has recorded 12 pass breakups to go along with an interception, 26 tackles, a forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries in the first half of the season. As if his defensive contributions weren’t enough, White also has the ability to handle punt return duties as well. Because he was relied upon so heavily from the start in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Buffalo, he has risen above all initial expectations. He is largely to thank for Buffalo’s under the radar defense and should further develop into a true star on the outside.

Coach Of The Year: Perhaps no team has truly done a 180 quite like the Los Angeles Rams have in 2017. After dragging through another dreadful offensive campaign last year, it looks like the Rams finally have something to work with. Thank you, Sean McVay. McVay worked as the offensive coordinator in Washington, guiding Kirk Cousins through the best years of his career. Somehow, someway, McVay turned what many thought to be a bust (Jared Goff) into an above average NFL starter. He is the youngest head coach in NFL history but continues to prove himself week in and week out. Todd Gurley is experiencing a breakthrough year that reminds fans of his jaw-dropping rookie season. This Rams offense is firing on all cylinders, averaging an NFL best 32.9 point per game, up from an NFL worst 14.0 last season. They are competing for the top spot in the NFC West along with the Seattle Seahawks. The defense is still the defense, but McVay’s offensive system is flourishing among the players and new look team. McVay looks to have completely transformed this team into a perennial contender for years to come.

Prep-Villa theater perform Peter and the Starcatcher

This past weekend, Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy performed their second show of the year. Just three weeks after To Kill A Mockingbird, they kept the shows rolling with Peter and the Starcatcher. Unlike the last production, this show was done at Cathedral Prep. This unique comedic play had the crowd laughing all through the night. It proved to be very special and allowed the actors to showcase their versatile, all-around talents.

This unorthodox show is presumptively the prequel to Peter Pan. It’s extremely complex plot revolves around an abused orphan boy (Dominic Montefiori ’18) who is aboard a ship in 1885 while being transported to Queen Victoria of Britain. He speaks frequently of his hatred for grown-ups. Also aboard the ship is Molly Aster (Mary Grace Kelly ’21), a strong-willed, defiant girl who is on a mission to safely deliver a trunk filled with “starstuff” to the queen. Starstuff is later revealed to be a magical substance that has the ability to give anyone what they want.

On a separate, competing ship is Molly’s father, Lord Aster (James Proper ’18). Unknown to Lord Aster, the ship has been taken over by pirates. The leader is found to be Blackstache (Nick Carneval ’18). Although filled with evil aspirations, Blackstache is very ineffective in getting his way. Blackstache’s ship, the Wasp, begins to pursue the other ship, the Neverland, in hopes of obtaining treasure.

As the ships make contact, the members of each are forced to jump to sea. Some people die, while others make it alive to a nearby island. Natives of the island are at first very violent and ruthless towards the English; however, the children escape. All the while, Blackstache and his right hand man, Smee (Hannah Harvey ’19), are searching for the treasure. The pirates finally meet the children face to face and the orphan boy gives up the treasure to save Molly. As the pirates open the chest, they find that nothing remains in it. Molly explains that the starstuff dissolved into the water. The magical reaction has given the orphan eternal youth, just as he’s always wanted. He is given the name Peter and stays on the island forever. The natives come to appreciate Peter and all ends well.

Peter, portrayed by Dominic Montefiori, spoke of his experience saying, “This show was one of the hardest plays Prep and Villa has put on, but it was so extremely fun because of the imagination needed to create this show.”

Nick Carneval, playing Blackstache, also commented, “It was an awesome opportunity to be able to work with a cast of long time thespians as well as kids who are just getting started. It was unique to be able to portray a cool origin story for the iconic character [Peter Pan] that people, no matter what their age, have known and loved for years.”

As the plot develops, many keen in on the noticeable parallels to Peter Pan. This show indirectly explains, in depth, how the story of Peter Pan came to be. Many of the cast members acted as props, which added another comedic, unique element to the show. The cast members also made use of improvisational timing and hilarious dialogue. It really showed how the actors and audience members could both reach the same spot in each other’s imagination with nothing but the space in between them.

Review of Fortnite: Battle Royale

For the past couple of years, battle royale games have taken the video game industry by storm. In 2016, H1Z1 pioneered this style of gaming by incorporating the “King of the Kill” game mode into their product. In this mode, players were put in a hunger games-esque situation where their character would be spawned onto a large map and try to survive until they were the last ones living. Grabbing weapons and supplies in areas of the map are necessities to winning the game. Other games followed suit, such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, (also known as “PUBG”). This game, instead of H1Z1, focused solely on making a battle royale game. With refined combat mechanics, better graphics, and an overall better player experience, PUBG has overthrown H1Z1 as the king of this genre of games. However, this glory may be short lived by PUBG, because the new third person shooter game Fortnite has introduced their own twist on battle royale, and it has players by the millions already calling it the next big thing. 

So what is Fortnite? Fortnite is a PvE (player vs enemy AI) game that allows gamers to co-op with friends and try to survive against hordes of enemies using a unique building system and weapon system. However, most players are not downloading this title for this aspect of the game. Fortnite also has a separate game mode called “Battle Royale.” In this game mode, you are hoisted into a lobby of 99 other players either by yourself, with a friend, or with a squad of up to four people. Once everyone has loaded into a game and the lobby is full, the countdown to begin a game begins. Usually match wait times don’t exceed five minutes. 

To start the game, you are flown over a gigantic island filled with unique landscapes, abandoned neighborhoods, and a plethora of other environments in a flying bus. Once you are over the island, a timer begins, signaling you to exit the bus and descend into the island. Once you abort the vehicle, you rapidly plummet to the ground. Using a hanglider, you can maneuver yourself better while falling, allowing pinpoint accuracy for a designated landing spot. 

Like other battle royale games, finding supplies when you first land in Fortnite is paramount. Depending on the location you land, you can either find really good loot or absolutely nothing. For example, if you land in an abandoned neighborhood, your chances of finding weapons and first aid is a lot more likely than you landing in a shed at the very edge of a map. However, players recognize this so more people will be at the neighborhood than at the shed, so being decisive on where you want to land is crucial to surfing the game. 

When it comes to combat, Fortnite is unique in its approach. Each gun has a possibility to be in five tiers. Common (Gray), Uncommon (Green), Rare (Blue), Epic (Purple), and Legendary (Orange). The power of the weapon is higher corresponding to its tier, (Legendary being the strongest and Common being the weakest). There are also many different types of guns, such as assault rifles, pistols, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, and shotguns. Although your weapon may help determine the winner of a gunfight, a player’s skill is crucial for victory in a battle, regardless of equipment. If you defeat an opponent in a firefight, you can loot his person of the material they had on them while fighting you. 

What makes Fortnite‘s battle royale game mode so unique is its addition of building and destroying structures during a match. In Fortnite‘s regular game mode, building is used almost always to defend players from the monsters attacking them. But by adding this function into Battle Royale, players are able to gather material and build to protect themselves from other players. There are three materials used for building in Fortnite. Wood, (weakest), brick (sturdy, in the middle) and metal (strongest). Building is usually done at the climax of a game, where there are likely less than 20 players alive. In games like H1Z1 and PUBG, this never was an option. The environment in the game was set and could not be altered. But in Fortnite, structures in the map can be destroyed to give the player materials to build their own forts. The options for building includes four different options. A wall, a floor, stairs, and lastly a triangular roof. These can modified also to include doorways, openings, etc., allowing for tactical positioning by the fort dweller. But be careful, because your structure can also be destroyed, so building comes at it’s own risk.

Fortnite, in conclusion, has all the tools to be one of the best games on the market today. 

“I haven’t played a game this good since… I can’t even remember!” exclaimed Prep junior Andrew Angelini. 

By already amassing 10 million players in its first two weeks of being on shelves, Fortnite is prepared to leave its mark on the video game industry. With some minor tweaks and combat balancing, this game will certainly rival PUBG and other battle royale games to come.

Man drives truck into pedestrians in New York terrorist attack

On Oct. 31, 2017, New York witnessed its greatest terror attack since 9/11. A 29-year-old male by the name of Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov drove a truck onto a bike path killing 8 people and injuring more than 12 on Halloween. He was shot and apprehended by a member of the New York Police Department and is “somewhat” cooperating with authorities, according to a law enforcement official. Saipov reportedly confessed his actions were inspired by an ISIS propaganda video featuring it’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Saipov came to the U.S. legally in 2010 on a diversity immigrant visa from Uzbekistan. He allegedly was radicalized on American soil, with no prior known ties to terrorism. About 6 months ago, he began working for Uber as a driver in New Jersey, where he resided with his wife and 3 children. The only criminal records belonging to Saipov have been traffic violations in 3 different states, including an arrest for not appearing in court for a misdemeanor charge.

Saipov had planned the attack out for over a year. He decided to use a truck to inflict maximum damage to civilians, and chose the date because of the large amounts of foot traffic on Halloween, officials said. Saipov was linked to a large array of ISIS related material on his social media account, including approximately 90 videos and 4,00 photographs of propaganda being found on his phone. Among the fatalities, 5 were from Argentina, celebrating their 30th anniversary of high school graduation.

“He appears to have followed almost exactly to a ‘T’ the instructions that ISIS has put out in its social media channels before, with instructions to their followers on how to carry out such an attack”, said John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism.

As America looks to prevent future atrocities similar to this, it is important to note that in 2014, an ISIS spokesman urged this upon Muslims- “If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock or slaughter him with a knife or run him over with your car or throw him down from a high place or choke him or poison him.” Since then, ISIS has taken responsibility for an increase in attacks through the use of motor vehicles. It is essential that authorities consider this, along with the current vetting process of visa recipients, when taking future steps of precautionary measures to avoid more tragedies of this kind.