What We Know: Attack On Ohio State Campus | WOSU Radio

What We Know: Attack On Ohio State Campus

Nov 28, 2016

A man began attacking people with a butcher knife at Ohio State University after purposefully driving a car into a group of pedestrians on Monday morning, injuring 11. Within minutes of the attack, a campus police officer shot and killed the suspect.

Here are the latest stories on the attack:

Our original blog post continues below.

Eleven people - including a staff member, undergraduate and graduate students - were brought to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. As of Tuesday afternoon, three remain hospitalized.

A campus vigil has been announced for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at St. John Arena.

The now-deceased suspect has been identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan. A graduate of Columbus State Community College and a current Ohio State student majoring in Logistics Management, Artan was born in Somalia. Associated Press reported he had been living in the United States as a legal permanent resident after moving from Pakistan in 2014.

He apparently wrote Facebook posts shortly before the attack, saying, "If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace" with ISIS.

A motive for the attack has yet to be confirmed. The FBI and other agencies have joined an ongoing investigation into whether the attack was terrorism-related. Artan was not known to counterrorism authorities before Monday's attack.

According to the AP, a "self-described Islamic State news agency called Artan 'a soldier of the Islamic State,'" although ISIS has previously called attackers its "soldiers" without having claimed to organize them.

Columbus City Council called the attack an "isolated incident" and says blame should not fall on the Muslim and Somali communities, the Associated Press reports. 

The Lantern, OSU's student newspaper, profiled Artan in an August feature. In the interview, Artan identified himself as a Muslim and said he had transferred recently from Columbus State.

"I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media," Artan said. "I'm a Muslim, it's not what the media portrays me to be."

In a second press conference on Monday afternoon, OSU president Michael Drake answered a reporter's question about the potential for backlash after the incident.

"We all know when things like this happens that there’s a tendency for people to put people together," Drake said. "What we want to do is unify together, support each other, do our best to support those who were injured in their recovery, and not come to conclusions."

The attack left a number of people with stab wounds and injuries sustained from the vehicle. One person is suffering neurological injuries from the car attack, but is awake and is under observation. A second person suffered skeletal injuries.

Wexner Medical Center treated six people, while three were taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center and two to Riverside Methodist Hospital.

"This is obviously a tragic situation... and obviously something we prepare for every year with our students, our faculty, our staff," said Ohio State president Michael Drake at a press conference early Monday afternoon. "I just wanted to say that we are so grateful our police were on the scene, were able to neutralize the situation, and the injuries weren't severe."

The responding officer was identified as Alan Horujko, 28. Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said Horujko was nearby because of a reported gas leak and was able to intervene quickly.

In the second press conference at 4 p.m., Drake said that some of the victims had more work to be done but most were recovering and "in good spirits."

Governor John Kasich also paid tribute to Ohio State students, faculty and staff, and urged patience with the investigation.

"We're going to be extremely, extremely grateful that we're going to have a full recovery," he said.

Ohio State Counseling and Consultation Services is offering counseling in four locations on campus. In addition, prayer vigils were planned on Monday at Jacob's Porch at 4 p.m., at St. Thomas More Newman Center at 5:30 p.m., and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and University Center at 7 p.m.

 

Though the incident was initially reported as a shooting, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said there is no evidence the attacker used a gun. No second suspect has been indicated.

President-elect Donald Trump released a statement Monday afternoon on the incident, saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the students and administration."

He added, "THANK YOU to all FIRST RESPONDERS who reacted immediately and eliminated the threat on campus."

Ohio State University president Michael Drake talks to reporters outside Wexner Medical Center about the school attack on Monday afternoon.
Credit Nick Houser

Facebook quickly released a Safety Check feature for the incident, allowing people in the area to mark themselves as unharmed.

WOSU's Esther Honig reports that two suspects who had been arrested at the parking garage at Lane Avenue and Tuttle Park have been cleared.

Though an all-clear was given by 11:30 a.m., Ohio State administrators canceled all classes for the remainder of the day. Classes resumed on Tuesday.

Public grade schools in the area went on lockdown before resuming classes as normal.

In a series of tweets beginning at 9:56 a.m., Ohio State Emergency Management and police warned people of an "active shooter on campus" at Watts Hall, at 19th Avenue and College Road. Police warned people to shelter in place.

This post will be updated with more information as it comes in.

Last updated: Friday, December 2, 2016 at 12:09 PM.