“Everybody was shouting, ‘Run! Run! Run!’”
A student intentionally drove a car over the curb and into a crowd of people at Ohio State University early Monday morning before leaving the vehicle and using a butcher knife to attack up to eleven people, causing a campus-wide lockdown.
The attack was initially thought to be a shooting and a ‘mass active shooter’ alert was sent out. Police sent a SWAT team, dog units, negotiators and a helicopter to the scene.
The attacker has since been identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an 18 year-old logistics management student from the university. He was fatally shot by campus police officer, Alan Horujko, less than a minute after the attack began.
Martin Schneider, a student at the university, said Artan didn’t speak when he got out of his car.
“I thought it was an accident initially until I saw the guy come out with a knife,” he added.
Another student explained watching in horror as the car drove into the crowd.
“It just hit everybody who was in front…After that, everybody was shouting, ‘Run! Run! Run!’”
The university’s emergency management system tweeted to students that they should ‘Run Hide Fight,’ the default response to an active shooter situation, as advised by the Department of Homeland Security. A number of students also used Twitter to post updates on their safety status during the attack.
— Mackenzie Bart (@mackvbart) November 28, 2016
I’m ok. Man crashed car through our group of people out for a fire alarm and got out with a knife and gun. Please be safe OSU.
— 2 Seam (@YourLocalNick) November 28, 2016
@NickGLange13 heard 5 or 6 gunshots + i believe someone was on the ground. Can see it from my dorm
— Stephen Yunker (@SYunks1) November 28, 2016
The victims, a mix of faculty, maintenance staff, and students, were taken to hospitals in the area to be treated for vehicle injuries, stab wounds, and at least one fractured skull. One of the victims was critically injured and two required surgery, but the rest are reportedly in a stable condition, according to a spokesperson from the Columbus Fire Department.
It’s since been revealed that Artan was a Somali refugee who was a legal permanent resident. He left Somalia with his family in 2007, and lived in Pakistan before resettling in the United States two years ago.
Police Chief Kim Jacobs said police have not yet ruled out the possibility the attack was motivated by terrorism.
“Obviously with the purposeful intent that was noticed – driving on the sidewalk – we’re going look at it from the potential that it was planned.”
Artan allegedly arrived on campus alone, and police are confident he was a lone attacker, with no accomplices. The scene has now been declared “secure”, all classes canceled and the FBI has joined as a partner in the police investigation.
Tweets via twitter.com.