Pedestrians Intentionally Run Over, Others Stabbed at Ohio State University
Monday afternoon, a 20-year-old male suspect intentionally drove a car into pedestrians on the campus of Ohio State University. He then reportedly exited the vehicle and began stabbing passers-by with a knife, sending 11 people to the hospital with ten sustaining non life-threatening injuries (the eleventh remains in critical condition). The suspect was shot and killed by Officer Alan Horujko, who was already in the area responding to complaints of a gas leak.
Suspected of carrying out the attack was 20-year-old Somali refugee, Abdul Razack Ali Artan.
In the immediate hysteria following the attack, many Ohio State students mistakenly believed reports of an active shooter situation. University officials in a Tweet, alerting students, “Active Shooter on campus, Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College." During her press conference, Police Chief Kim Jacobs acknowledged the department believed Artan intended to run over pedestrians as he was driving on the sidewalk. Artan who exited his vehicle in order to continue his attack by stabbing bystanders with a knife validated Jacob’s belief.
At this point, authorities can only speculate Artan’s motives. However, Facebook and other posts indicate that this attack was premeditated. In the Ohio State University student newspaper, Artan wrote, “I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I'm a Muslim, it's not what the media portrays me to be.” According to ABC News, Artan recently posted the following threatening language on Facebook: “I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE. ... I can't take it anymore. America! Stop interfering with other countries ... [if] you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks.”
These posts in the newspaper and social media in totality offer a glimpse into Artan’s perception of how Muslims were being treated and may help authorities prevent future attacks.
Officials believe this lone wolf attacker was radicalized by efforts of terrorist organizations abroad. Artan was in Columbus attending Ohio State University, studying Logistics Management in the business school.