Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a 20-year-old Somali refugee attending the Ohio State University, has been identified as the suspect who reportedly launched a violent attack on the OSU campus earlier today.
The attack, which left nine people injured, started at 9:52 A.M. when authorities say the suspect plowed through pedestrians with a car, then ran into the chemical engineering building on campus. According to several news reports, he jumped out of the car with a knife and gun, and immediately started shooting. However, it later came out that Artan was not actually carrying a gun despite the university’s initial claims. Armed swat teams arrived shortly after and students were asked to shelter in place.
Initial rumors said there were two suspects involved in the attack, but police later confirmed that Abdul Razak Ali Artan was the only suspect. He was killed by police during the attack. Reports say that Artan drove his car into a group of students who left school during a fire drill. It remains unknown if the suspect pulled the alarm himself. He then slashed multiple students with a butcher knife.
“We are very fortunate that an OSUPD officer was there and took quick action,”university Police Chief Craig Stone said. Columbus Police Chief Chief Kim Jacobs, whose officers also responded to the attack, added that the motive of terrorism has not been ruled out. “That’s why our federal partners are here and helping,” she said.
According to White House press secretary Josh Earnest, President Barack Obama was briefed on the incident by Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco, and FBI agents in Columbus are currently assisting with the investigation.
President-elect Donald Trump responded to the tragedy on Facebook roughly two hours ago.
“Watching the news unfold at Ohio State University. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the students and administration,” he wrote. “Excellent job by the Ohio State University Emergency Management Team (OSU_EMFP) in immediately notifying students & faculty via social media with the message: ‘Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.’ THANK YOU to all FIRST RESPONDERS who reacted immediately and eliminated the threat on campus.”
People have started to respond to the news on Twitter.
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