Ohio State Attack Suspect Identified; Officials Say Attack Could Be Act Of Terrorism

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CBS News) — A young man deliberately rammed students with a car on the campus of Ohio State University and then jumped out to stab them on Monday morning, setting off a campus-wide lockdown and a mass active shooter alert, officials said. The man was quickly shot dead by a campus officer nearby.

Ohio officials said it appears this is possibly an act of terrorism, and the FBI and ATF have been sent in to help investigate.

A federal law enforcement official tells CBS News that the man shot and killed in the incident at Ohio State University has been identified as 18-year-old Abdul Ali Artan, a Somali refugee who was a legal permanent resident and student at the university. Officials have not said when or where he entered the United States.

At around 9:52 a.m., a male suspect drove his vehicle over the curb near the Watts building, which holds the chemical engineering department, officials said.

ohio-state-universityThe fire department was already on the scene, responding to a report of a chemical leak which turned out to be a bad filter. The building had been evacuated. Students were returning to class when the incident occurred. Officials have said initial indications are that the fire alarm and timing of the attack were coincidental.

After ramming students returning to the building, the suspect got out of the vehicle and began stabbing people with what officials described as a butcher knife.

Ohio State University officials said Officer Alan Horujk was already on the scene, and he responded to the incident quickly, shooting the suspect dead before he could harm more people.

At least 10 people were wounded during the incident, with one person in critical condition. All of the injured appear to have either stabbing or blunt trauma wounds, said Andrew Thomas, the chief medical officer at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

At least one witness to the scene told CBS Columbus affiliate WBNS-TV said a fire alarm was pulled inside the Watts Lab, and when people exited, a car was waiting for them and appeared to purposefully run them over.

Another student witness told CBS News she saw a grey car drive by the engineering building at a high speed, hit a cop, then proceed to hit other people.

The identities of the injured have not been released.

Artan, the deceased suspected shooter, appears to have given an interview with the school’s student newspaper, the Lantern, that ran in August of this year. In it he talked about why it was important for him to have a quiet place to go when he prays.

“This place is huge and I don’t even know where to play,” Artan said. “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. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen.”

CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues reports many of the signs from this incident point towards this being precisely the kind of terrorism federal law enforcement officials have been warning about for some time now.

Last week, a Brooklyn man was arrested for being an ISIS supporter, and was accused of plotting something similar to the attack in Nice, France for Times Square by seeking to drive a truck into a crowd.

Columbus, Ohio, itself has been on alert for localized terrorism for some time. Earlier this year a man with a machete randomly attacked diners in Nazareth Restaurant before being shot dead by police. Officials believe the incident was terrorism related.

Last year, a federal grand jury charged a Columbus, Ohio man, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, with attempting to provide and providing material support to terrorists, attempting to provide and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and making false statements to the FBI.

With nearly 60,000 students at its main Columbus campus, Ohio State is the state’s largest employer and one of the nation’s largest universities.

9 comments

  • Benny Hill

    Well well well…the liberal narrative foiled once again. If only it was a gun and not a knife or a car. You see…the liberal democrat/socialist scumbag couldn’t care less now that 8 people were stabbed or ran over. Doesn’t fit their agenda so nothing to see here and the story will fade away. Oh and all you democrat dipsh*ts who made statements about “gun violence” – go slither back into your holes. Do not be surprised to learn that the attacker was a Muslim.

  • Benny Hill

    “Could be” a terrorist attack? The hoaxing media never ceases to amaze. Obama has been letting these people in for 8 years and the border surge (invasion) continues to this day. They are coming from all over the world posing as refugees, asylum seekers, and your run-of-the-mill illegal aliens. Drug cartels and coyotes are telling them what to say when the border patrol apprehends them. And they are not being turned back. This has been Obama’s plan from the beginning. Wake up America!

    • Mike Haring

      Wake up pea brain. The guy is a student. It’s finals week. You wouldn’t understand. He posted on FB over the weekend about how bad it was going in school. Then he posted he can’t take college finals anymore. grabbed a kitchen knife.
      You do realize that 90% of what you think is the truth was planted by the Russian KGB. Putin laughed at how the KGB’s propaganda ran fake anti-Hillary websites, planted fake news and sen chain emails to known republican list servers. Look it up. The NSA has released their report. Check it out at multiple sources. You think your a genius but you established your world view from Russian propaganda.

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