Suspect killed after driving into crowd and stabbing people at Ohio State University campus
At least nine people hospitalised, one in critical condition
A man ploughed his car into a group of pedestrians at Ohio State University and then got out and began stabbing people with a butcher knife before he was shot to death by an officer Monday morning, campus police said.
Nine people were hurt, one critically, and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said police were looking into whether it was a terrorist attack. The FBI and other agencies joined the investigation.
Police identified the assailant who rammed his car into a crowd of pedestrians at Ohio State University as student Abdul Razak Ali Artan.
“We can tell you the suspect is an USO student,” Craig Stone, police chief at the university, told a news conference at which officials released the name of the suspect, who was shot dead by police.
“We do not have information at the moment on motive,” added Monica Moll, public safety director at the university, saying only that the investigation was ongoing.
Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.
— OSU Emergency Mngmnt (@OSU_EMFP) November 28, 2016
US media reported earlier that the attacker was of Somali descent, but officials did not confirm that.
The details emerged after a morning of confusion and conflicting reports that began with the university issuing a series of tweets warning students that there was an “active shooter” on campus near the engineering building and that they should “run, hide, fight.”
Numerous police vehicles and ambulances converged on the 60,000-student campus, and authorities blocked off roads.
Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said that the attacker drove over a curb outside a classroom building and that an officer who was nearby because of a gas leak shot the driver in less than a minute.
Angshuman Kapil, a graduate student, was outside the building when the car barrelled onto the sidewalk.
“It just hit everybody who was in front,” he said. “After that everybody was shouting, ‘Run! Run! Run!’”
Student Martin Schneider said he heard the car’s engine revving.
“I thought it was an accident initially until I saw the guy come out with a knife,” Schneider said, adding that the man didn’t say anything when he got out.
The shelter-in-place warning was lifted about an hour and half later and the campus was declared secure after police concluded there was no second attacker, as had been rumoured.
I'm safe in a barricaded room. If you're on campus, get in a room and stay safe. pic.twitter.com/Gaw7gjTx6w
— Harrison Roth (@goisles29) November 28, 2016
At least two people were being treated for stab wounds, four were injured by the car and two others were being treated for cuts, university officials said.
The attack came as students were returning to classes following the Thanksgiving holiday break and Ohio State’s football victory over rival Michigan that brought more than 100,000 fans to campus on Saturday.
Rachel LeMaster, who works in the engineering college, said a fire alarm sounded before the attack.
“There were several moments of chaos,” she said. “We barricaded ourselves like we’re supposed to since it was right outside our door and just hunkered down.”
LeMaster said she and others were eventually led outside the building and she saw a body on the ground.
Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day.
Ohio State President Michael Drake said the active-shooter warning was issued after shots were heard on campus. Those shots apparently were police gunfire.
“Run, hide, fight” is standard protocol for active shooter situations. It means: Run, evacuate if possible; hide, get silently out of view; or fight, as a last resort, take action to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter if your life is in imminent danger.