Was it domestic terrorism when a man intentionally slammed his vehicle into eight people in Sunnyvale, California on Tuesday night?

The FBI says it might be.

The driver was identified as 34-year-old Isaiah J. Peoples of Sunnyvale.  The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety released his mugshot and said he may be facing attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and other charges.

Isaiah J. Peoples of Sunnyvale

Mugshot: Isaiah J. Peoples of Sunnyvale


Captain Jim Choi says that a number of the victims are suffering from serious injuries.

In an email to local media outlets on Wednesday, the FBI said it was “assessing the situation to determine federal involvement. Should it be determined that a federal crime was committed, we will become more involved.”

Choi told reporters Wednesday that it looks like Peoples accelerated as he veered toward the pedestrians.

“The driver did not slow down, did not try to avoid the victims and also may have accelerated at the last moment,” he said.

Sunnyvale police didn’t rule out domestic terrorism, saying it was too early to know.

“As of right now, it’s all under investigation so we wouldn’t be able to draw that conclusion, it’s too early,” Choi said. “We are conducting the that investigation. We don’t know what the motives were.”

The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety said the crash happened Tuesday night.  Officers responded to a call around 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of El Camino Real and Saratoga Sunnyvale Rd.


Police said Peoples sped through the intersection and slammed directly into eight people, the youngest of whom was 13-years-old, then crashed into a tree.

“He came out of his vehicle and basically gave up,” Choi said. “It looks like he was waiting for the police to arrive on scene.”


San Jose resident Don Draper told local media he was on his way to a friend’s house when he stopped at the intersection.

“I didn’t really notice him until about he was directly in front of me, going at least 60 miles an hour,” Draper told the paper. “Several people got hit. One person, a woman, was launched in the right in front of me.”

Other witnesses told police officers who responded that the driver never hit the brakes.

“Some of the (witness) statements are that the vehicle didn’t try to brake or slow down,” Choi said. “That the vehicle was speeding and went directly into the crowd.”

Choi said the victims were spread throughout the intersection.

“Some were in the crosswalk, some were at the corner of El Camino Real and Sunnyvale,” he said. “And there’s no indication that the vehicle tried to avoid them.”