Several people were killed and numerous others injured in New York City on Tuesday afternoon after a vehicle drove down a bike path that runs alongside the Hudson River. Picture: Martin Speechley/NYPD via AP

New York - Several people were killed and numerous others injured in New York City on Tuesday afternoon after a vehicle drove down a bike path that runs alongside the Hudson River in Manhattan, police said.

The New York City Police Department, in a post on Twitter, said that one vehicle struck another, then the driver of one of the vehicles "got out displaying imitation firearms and was shot by police".

Police said the suspect was taken into custody.

A police spokesman posted a photo showing a white pickup truck on the bike path with its front end smashed. The truck had the logo of the Home Depot hardware store chain on its door.

An witness told ABC Channel 7 that he saw a white pick-up truck drive south down the bike path alongside the West Side Highway at full speed and hit several people. The witness, who was identified only as Eugene, said bodies were lying outside Stuyvesant High School, one of the city's elite public schools.

He also reported hearing about nine or 10 shots, but was not sure where they came from.

A video apparently filmed at the scene and circulated online showed scattered bikes on the bike path and two people lying on the ground.

City Hall said Mayor Bill de Blasio had been briefed about the incident. The office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the governor was heading to the scene.