A man armed with a butcher knife was shot and killed after hitting students with his vehicle and stabbing several others at Ohio State University, authorities announced on Monday afternoon. The attack left eight victims with non-life-threatening injuries.
Authorities have not identified a motive but are not ruling out that the incident was terror-related. The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old student Abdul Razak Ali Artan. He is of Somali descent and a permanent legal resident. Sources told reporters that he left behind a message admitting that he was sick of hate crimes against Muslims across the country.
Just before 10am, the school issued an alert urging anyone near Watts Hall at 19th Avenue and College road to run, hide, or fight. SWAT vans, police cruisers, and emergency vehicles responded to the campus. The emergency lockdown was lifted by 11:30am and police announced that the area was secured at the 60,000 student campus.
“Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College,” the university alert system tweeted on Monday.
Witnesses reported that the assailant’s vehicle jumped the curb outside Watts Hall and intentionally ran into a group of students. Other witnesses said that a fire alarm was pulled inside the building and as students poured out of the building they were struck by the automobile. The suspect then began stabbing students and was eventually shot dead by a police officer responding to the incident.
President Barack Obama has been briefed on the shooting and has asked to be updated on developments in the case, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.
While the incident unfolded, Governor John Kasich tweeted his thoughts and prayers to the Ohio State community, “Be safe, listen to first responders.”
Facebook has activated its safety-check feature so students can alert friends and family members of their well-being.