The students had been alerted by 10am on Monday of an active shooter set loose on the campus. That information was, however, wrong as the Ohio State students were instead faced with an individual who used his car as a weapon, ramming it into a group of pedestrians and then beginning to attack them with a knife.
At last count, CNN reported that 11 were injured. Other students, faculty, and staff locked themselves inside classrooms, reportedly piling up chairs and desks in front of doors as a barricade. In under two hours, the entire episode was over as the police alerted the campus that it was safe to leave.
The attacker had been shot and killed by a campus police officer Alan Horujko, who happened to be nearby investigating a gas leak. The attacker was later identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali-born individual lawfully residing in the US according to AP, who spoke to government officials.
A lot of details about the motive for the attack are still very much unknown. Authorities are still investigating even the nature of the attack. When they had been questioned at a news conference if the event could’ve been a terrorist act, Columbus police chief Kim Jacobs answered “I think we have to consider that it is,” as the possibility cannot be ruled out just yet.
For now, it is known that Abdul Razak Ali Artan was an 18-year-old refugee from Somalia who left his country in 2007, lived in Pakistan for a few years, then moved to the US two years ago, according to law enforcement officials cited by NBC.
One profile in the Ohio State student newspaper about Artan lists him as a third-year logistics management student who transferred from Columbus State Community College. In it he discussed prayer on campus, stating:
“If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have it and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable.”
Putting aside the questions on motives and terrorism, another debate was sparked by the incident: people are arguing that Ohio State’s instruction to “run, hide, fight” was a huge cause of confusion and panic which did not allow students to draw appropriate conclusions about the attack.