Suspect dead, 11 injured after stabbing attack at Ohio State

Police respond to reports of an active shooter on campus at Ohio State University on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
Police respond to reports of an active shooter on campus at Ohio State University on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
OSU Officer Alan Horujko (Courtesy: OSU Police Department)
OSU Officer Alan Horujko (Courtesy: OSU Police Department)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WLFI) — Police confirm the suspect involved in a hostile situation Monday morning at Ohio State University is dead and multiple people are injured.

OSU President Michael Drake told News 18’s Ohio-based sister station, WCMH-TV, the sole suspect drove a car into a group of pedestrians, got out and began stabbing people with a butcher knife. OSU Police Officer Alan Horujko, who was nearby because of a gas leak, arrived on the scene within a minute of the attack and shot and killed the subject.

“He engaged the suspect and eliminated the threat,” OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said.

The attacker was identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali-born legal permanent resident of the U.S., according to Ohio State Department of Public Safety Director Monica Moll.

Authorities said 11 people were injured, one critically. All victims were taken to Columbus area hospitals to be treated for stab wounds and crash injuries from being hit by the vehicle, officials said.

When asked at a news conference whether authorities were considering the possibility of a terrorist act, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said “I think we have to consider that it is.”

Suspect Abdul Razak Ali Artan (Courtesy: The Lantern/Kevin Stankiewicz)
Suspect Abdul Razak Ali Artan (Courtesy: The Lantern/Kevin Stankiewicz)

Other officials said the attack was clearly deliberate and may have been planned in advance.

“This was done on purpose,” Chief Stone said.

In recent months, federal law enforcement have raised concerns about online extremist propaganda that encourages knife and car attacks, which are easier to pull off than bombings. The Islamic State group has urged sympathizers online to carry out attacks in their home countries with whatever weapons are available to them.

The incident was first issued just before 10 a.m. as an “active shooter situation,” but the subject did not shoot anyone. The shelter alert was lifted just after 11:30 a.m., after police secured the scene. Classes for the rest of the day have been canceled.

A tweet from the university’s emergency alert system Monday morning said the incident was happening at OSU’s Watts Hall, which is the Material Science and Engineering Building on campus. University officials warned students and staff they should “run, hide or fight.”

Heavily armed police, ambulances and SWAT vehicles could be seen on the Columbus campus. FBI, Ohio State police and Columbus police were assisting university police.

Sophomore Wyatt Crosher told WCMH-TV he heard what he thought was gunfire coming from a class building.

“My roommate and I heard about three or four gunshots from across the street and soon after, we heard a bunch of police and ambulances pull up across the street,” the 19-year-old said.

Fifth-year senior Scott Bedle said, “I was going to class and just all the people were running, and I was really nervous — I was like, Oh crap. I saw people running, cop sirens, everything.”

One student said she witnessed a car plow into a crowd of people who had evacuated an academic building during a fire alarm.

“This car just swerved and ran into a whole group of people,” Nicole Kreinbrink said. “It hit a cop really bad.”

Other students barricaded themselves in classrooms.

“I’m safe in a barricaded room,” OSU student Harrison Roth tweeted. “If you’re on campus, get in a room and stay safe.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich weighed in on Twitter saying, “Ohio’s thoughts and prayers go out to the Ohio State community. Be safe, listen to first responders.”

OSU is one of the largest universities in the nation. Ohio State has nearly 60,000 students enrolled. Staff and students just returned Monday to get ready for final exams, which begin on Dec. 9.

WCMH-TV, CBS News and The Associated Press contributed to this story.