11 injured in car-and-knife attack on Ohio State campus
Eleven people were injured in a car-and-knife attack on the Ohio State University campus Monday. None of the injuries are life-threatening. The suspect is dead.
Public safety director Monica Moll identified the suspect as Ohio State student Abdul Razak Ali Artan during the second press conference of the day. Citing an unnamed U.S. official, the Associated Press also reported the attacker was a man of Somali descent.
Though reports of a second suspect circulated, with additional reports of an arrest, university officials said they believe Artan acted alone.
As of 11:30 a.m. ET, the campus was “secure” after being on lockdown for roughly 90 minutes.
Artan transferred to Ohio State over the summer from Columbus State Community College, where he graduated cum laude, according to Allen Kraus, vice president of marketing and communications at Columbus State. Spokesperson David Wayne told VICE News that Artan enrolled at the community college in 2014 and began his first semester that fall.
There were no violent incidents involving Artan while he was a student, according to Wayne. “We’re still going through records and dotting our Is and crossing our Ts to make sure,” he said.
Of the 11 injured victims, four went to the hospital with cut and stab wounds and another four went with impact injuries from a car. The nature of the injuries to the remaining three victims are still unclear, according to Andrew Thomas, chief medical officer of the university’s Wexner Medical Center. Two victims underwent surgery.
The suspect drove into a crowd of pedestrians at 9:52 a.m. ET, then started cutting people with a butcher knife, Ohio State University Police Chief Craig Stone explained during a press conference.
OSU emergency services reported an “active shooter” shortly before 10 a.m. ET. Reports of multiple shooters later emerged.
Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.
— OSU Emergency Mngmnt (@OSU_EMFP) November 28, 2016
“It’s too early to say whether it was terror-related,” Stone said. “This was done on purpose. It was planned.”
Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said that terrorism was not being ruled out, referencing other knife attacks claimed by the Islamic State in the last year.
A local media station reported one of the victims was a professor who was stabbed in the leg and transported to the hospital. An NBC reporter tweeted a similar statement from a witness.
— Harrison Hove (@HarrisonHove) November 28, 2016
One student wrote on Twitter that the suspect “jumped the curb” with a car and ran into a group standing outside Watts Hall. Another witness told NBC4 that after a fire alarm was pulled, a car started hitting those who were evacuating.
The situation began near Watts Hall and progressed to a parking garage near the Blackwell Hotel, according to multiple local media sources and witnesses. The Columbus Fire Department responded to a gas leak that triggered a fire alarm, a university official said during the press conference. It’s unclear if the alarm was related to the attack.
The Ohio State University, located in Columbus, the state capital, is one of the largest universities in the country, with more than 66,000 students enrolled.
During the lockdown, Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted his “thoughts and prayers” on behalf of Ohio. “Be safe,” Kasich wrote. “Listen to first responders.”