Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, was killed in Pakistan, President Barack Obama said during a press conference Sunday night.
In a statement, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said bin Laden's death was a "milestone" for the families of 9/11's victims.
"The death of Osama bin Laden is a welcome milestone for the friends and families of those killed on 9/11 and for all who remain tenaciously engaged in protecting New York from another attack," Kelly said.
The president said the U.S. was in possession of bin Laden's body.
New Yorker Gerald Farrington was 23 years old, a mail clerk who worked on the 97th floor of Two World Trade Center. He wasn’t on the clock that day, but he said he still remembers friends who were.
“I had a lot of friends who died that day,” Farrington said. “So for me, to know that he's dead, it means, ‘Ok, that chapter is done.’”
Many New Yorkers expressed some measure of relief, but said the country as a whole needs to remain vigilant.
“I'm not going to gloat about it, we've still got to watch ourselves,” said Mario Roselli. “I think we've got to make sure of our intelligence, make sure that it's him, but remember that Al Qaeda is not one person.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement shortly after the president’s announcement Sunday night.
“The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation — and a tribute to the millions of men and women in our armed forces and elsewhere who have fought so hard for our nation,” he said.
An operation spearheaded by the Central Intelligence Agency resulted in bin Laden's death during a raid Sunday in northwest Pakistan, the president said.
"His demise should be welcome by all who believe in peace and human dignity," Obama said. "On nights like this one, we can say to those families who've lost loved ones to Al Qaeda's terror — justice has been done."