On Nov. 28, an Ohio State University (OSU) student plowed his car into pedestrians and then stabbed multiple people with a butcher knife on the Columbus campus.
Eleven people were taken to local hospitals and one is in critical condition. According to ABC news, the suspect was identified as Somali refugee, Abdul Razak Ali Artan. The incident was originally reported as an active shooter by OSU officials at 10 a.m. and two hours later the shooter was eventually shot dead by police.
“The attack that occurred in Ohio is an unfortunate one and my heart goes out to not only the direct lives affected but also the entire school body entirely,” said senior management information systems major Paul Perez.
The day after the incident, law enforcement officials stated that Artan was inspired by terrorist propaganda from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. ISIL released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, though there is no evidence of direct contact between the group and Artan.
According to cnn.com, Artan “rammed his car into a group of people on the Columbus campus and then got out and charged at passersby with a knife. Ohio State University Police Officer Alan Horujko shot Artan after he failed to obey orders to stop, killing him and stopping the attack.”
“At the end of the day, we should all be grateful for the well-trained officers on duty who have been placed in their positions to be alert, responsive and protect us,” Perez said. “The officer who gunned down the attacker so quickly and professionally saved many others from being injured or even killed.”
According to cnn.com, Artan had just transferred to OSU this semester. The student newspaper profiled him as part of its “Humans of Ohio State” series, where he talked about his struggles to find a place to pray in peace on the large campus.
His neighbor, Louann Carnahan said she knew him and his family quite well and described him as being very pleasant.
In a Facebook post shortly before the attack, Artan said he was “sick and tired” of seeing fellow Muslims “killed and tortured,” law enforcement officials said.
It’s definitely a tragedy,” said junior psychology major Taylor Wallace. “It seems to be an issue with a lot of students, not being able to access therapy or what it is that they needed to talk to in order to prevent things like this. It definitely didn’t need to happen.”
OSU President Dr. Michael V. Drake credited the school’s active shooter training and the campus alert system for helping the community maintain order. In a news conference, Drake cautioned against jumping to conclusions when asked the attack was terror-related or had anything to do with Ohio’s Somali community.
“Personally I think you should stop to deter not shoot to kill,” Wallace said. “I don’t think he needed to be killed, but at least he stopped him.”