The dad of the 18-year-old tourist murdered in Times Square spoke for the first time about his “angel”

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Eighteen-year-old Alyssa Elsman was murdered in Times Square Thursday by Richard Rojas, 26, as she toured New York City with her 13-year-old sister shortly after arriving.

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Rojas, who was on drugs and later expressed that he wanted to kill pedestrians and be shot by police, injured 22 people, including the sister of the deceased.

RELATED: At least one person is reported dead after a car ripped through pedestrians in Times Square

Alyssa Elsman’s father has spoken publicly for the first time since his daughter’s death and says “his heart died in New York.”

Thomas Elsman, the New York Post reported, drove overnight with his son from their Portage, Mich., home and was so distraught that he went to the police precinct where Rojas was being held and threatened to kill him.

Elsman had to be taken to a nearby hospital to be calmed down.

After that, he spoke with Fox 5 News and poured out his heart over the first born child he lost and the 13-year-old daughter who needed surgery for a fractured pelvis, broken leg and collapsed lung.


“Numb. There’s no words. I want to scream,” he said. “My first born daughter is gone. My heart died in New York yesterday.”

RELATED: An arrest has been made after a car reportedly killed 1, injured dozens after driving through Times Square

“If it was an accident I would forgive,” he continued. “The fact that I found out he was on drugs, and then also today in court said, ‘I wanted to kill everyone,’ and he wanted to go suicide-by-cop, that’s intent. He knew what he was doing, and I don’t care what happens to him.”

Elsman said he could watch Rojas walk right into traffic, get hit and wouldn’t shed a tear.

He said his daughter Alyssa was an “angel” who “never hurt anybody.”

For his horrific crimes, Rojas faces charges of second-degree murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated vehicular homicide.

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