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Feds say ISIS may have been inspiration for OSU attacker

Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 @ 6:30 PM
By: Laura A. Bischoff - Columbus bureau

            Feds say ISIS may have been inspiration for OSU attacker
FBI officials said today that Abdul Razak Ali Artan may have been inspired by ISIS or radical Islamic leaders to carry out his attack at Ohio State University on Monday but they have yet to find direct links or determine Artan’s motive. Photo by Laura Bischoff

FBI officials said for the first time Wednesday that Abdul Razak Ali Artan may have been inspired by ISIS or radical Islamic leaders to carry out the attack that injured 11 people at Ohio State University on Monday.

But federal authorities say they have yet to find direct links or determine Artan’s motive.

“It is too soon to draw any type of conclusions whether or not this is terrorism. We have a long road to go in the investigation,” said Angela Byers, special agent in charge of the FBI Cincinnati Field Office. “We have lots of evidence and lots of digital media to go through and that could uncover a trove of information for us.”

Although Byers said Anwar al-Awlaki, a former al Qaeda leader who was killed by an American drone strike, may have served as an inspiration to Artan, she all but dismissed a statement by ISIS claiming credit for the attack.

“In the past, they have claimed responsibility when the assailant has been dead and can’t refute that,” she said. “So, that makes it pretty easy for them.”

OSU Officer Alan Horujko shot and killed Artan a short distance from where he drove his car onto a curb and into a crowd of people milling around because of a fire alarm.

Byers said authorities are still working to determine whether a self-radicalized statement posted Monday to Facebook came from Artan. The statement made reference to lone-wolf killers carrying out jihad.

The FBI is working with Columbus Division of Police and Ohio State University campus police to investigate the attack. Byers said “immense resources” are being brought to bear on the investigation.

At a press conference Wednesday, Byers asked anyone with credible information about Artan’s whereabouts before he carried out the 9:52 a.m. attack to call 800-CALL-FBI. Authorities need help filling in a several hour gap between when Artan bought a knife at a Walmart near his home and when OSU security cameras picked up his arrival on campus in a silver Honda registered to his brother.

It is unclear if Artan used the Walmart knife in the attack, police said.

The 20-year-old Artan, who was in his first semester at OSU, was not previously known to federal authorities, according to law enforcement. There is also no indication he knew his victims.

A preliminary autopsy report released Wednesday by the Franklin County Coroner’s office showed Artan died of a gunshot wound to the head and chest.

Byers said authorities have searched Artan’s car and home, seized several electronic devices and interviewed family members, neighbors and co-workers.

Artan immigrated to the U.S. in 2014 with his mother and siblings after they had spent years in a refugee camp in Pakistan. No one answered the door Wednesday at the family apartment.

None of the injuries suffered by the victims, ranging from stab wounds to broken bones, were life-threatening. One bystander was shot in the foot by what authorities believe was an errant round from Horujko.

Police have said they don’t believe the fire alarm was triggered by an accomplice, but was in response to a report of a flourine leak. Because of the timing, however, dozens of people were standing outside Watts Hall when Artan aimed the moving vehicle toward the crowd of people, then opened the car door and began cutting people with a butcher knife.

One of the victims, Andy Payne, is an Army veteran who initially thought the driver lost control of the car and went to help those who were hit. When Artan turned to attack him, Payne, a Graham High School graduate and the father of three children, said he grabbed the knife with his left hand and was sliced across the entire palm and into the thumb.

He underwent surgery on Monday.

“When he got out of the vehicle he was angry,” Payne told this newspaper. “It wasn’t like I was trying to tackle him or take him out or anything. I was just trying to keep the knife from hitting me.”

Horujko was in the area because of the report of a gas leak. He ordered Artan to drop the knife multiple times and when he refused, he shot and killed him, police said.

Horujko, 28, who joined the OSU force in January 2015, is in good spirits and “hanging in there,” said OSU Public Safety Director Monica Moll.

The police-involved shooting is still under investigation.

Continuing coverage

Our Columbus Bureau reporter Laura Bischoff has covered the attack at Ohio State from the beginning. Follow her on Twitter at @lbischoff

Columbus Police Wednesday released the list of those injured in Monday’s attack at Ohio State. Eleven were taken to area hospitals. The list of the injured:
  • Anderson Payne, 28;
  • Anthony DiCocco, 21;
  • Keria Straughsbaugh, 27;
  • Kaylee Hoffner, 22;
  • Kristopher Waninger, 21;
  • Marc Coons, 29;
  • Katherine Schultz, 19;
  • Pavel Sergeev, 23;
  • William Clark, 68;
  • Theron Ellinger, age unknown;
  • Elisabeth Sturges, 20;
  • Linda Rager, 20;
  • Max Wieneke, 21.

Sheriff: Suspected West Liberty school shooter wanted to do more harm

Updated: Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 4:59 PM
By: Breaking News Staff

UPDATE @ 4:57 p.m. 

Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus released this statement provided by the family of victim Logan Cole:

“We are thankful for the Lord’s protective hand on our son. We are also grateful for the outpouring of support from our family, friends, and community. We would like to ask for continued prayers for Logan. Also, we’d like to encourage prayer for the community, the other student, and his family. We are certain they have been deeply hurt as well. We are confident that God has a purpose and plan through this tragedy.”

UPDATE @ 4:21 p.m. 

Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin S. Talebi said the suspect is initially charged with felonious assault. The prosecutor’s office will continue to monitor the investigation prior to Monday’s hearing and appropriate charges will be filed.

UPDATE @ 4 p.m.

Champaign County Sheriff Matthew Melvin said the suspected lone shooter is 17 years old and is in custody.

Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin S. Talebi said during an afternoon press conference, that the investigation will be ongoing for many days. The suspect is being housed in juvenile detention center.

A juvenile detention hearing will be held Monday in front of a juvenile court judge.

Talebi said the male victim remains hospitalized and the family is hopeful.

West Liberty-Salem Superintendent Kraig Hissong identified the student victim as Logan Cole.

“We’re really pleased with how our community stood beside us,” Hissong said.

Sheriff Melvin said the school officials played a large role in neutralizing the threat and having the suspect pinned on the ground prior to law enforcement arriving.

The weapon used was a shotgun, Melvin said.

Melvin said that Cole was a random victim and he believes the suspect wanted to do more harm.

Melvin said the victim, a junior, 16, was shot multiple times.

UPDATE @ 1:39 p.m.

The shooting victim from West Liberty has been identified as 16-year-old Logan Cole, according to multiple social media posts by friends, family and fellow students.

He is at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus in the pediatric ICU. The hospital has not provided a condition update for Logan, but according to a Facebook post by Ryan Cole, a man who friends identify as Logan Cole’s father, Logan is in critical but stable condition.

Ryan Cole is asking for prayers. 

Champaign County sheriff’s officials have not confirmed identities of the suspected shooter and victim, but we are working to find out more.

Champaign County deputies at the high school have towed the suspected shooter’s vehicle. 

UPDATE @10:32 a.m.

The Champaign County prosecuting attorney said there is an active, ongoing investigation and at this time there is very limited information in what can be provided.

Other than one victim, the students are safe and the building has been secured.

He said the family has been notified and the student is receiving treatment. The condition of the student has not been released. 

The initial call of shots fired came in at 7:36 a.m. A suspect is in custody.

At 3:30 p.m. this afternoon, the sheriff’s office will provide an update. 

West Liberty superintendent Kraig Hissong said today has been a tragic day at the school district.

He said he was very thankful with how staff and students responded.

RELATED: 5 things to know about West Liberty

The shooting happened right at the beginning of the school day, Hissong said. Once they were notified of an active shooter, they ran, got into rooms and barricaded rooms. Students and staff also ran from the school.

“I can’t say how pleased I am with how staff and students handled this today,” Hissong said.

He said all students are safe that are on site at school. Students are being evacuated to Lyons Park in West Liberty, and that’s where parents can pick them up.

Hissong asked for patience in getting students evacuated to the park, noting they need to take their time.

He confirmed the active shooter was a student at the school, along with the victim.

The school where the shooting happened is a K-12 building.

RELATED: 7 lessons learned from another local school shooting

UPDATE @9:47 a.m.:

Lilly Keller, a student at West Liberty, said students were told over the loudspeaker there was an active shooter and to go on lockdown.

Keller said she doesn’t know who the shooter is.

Keller said students broke out windows and ran out of the school. She said students ran to a nearby house after being told to.

UPDATE @9:13 a.m.

Parents are telling our crews they are being told to pick up their children on E. Baird Street just east of town.

Students are now being taken out of the front of the school.

We have multiple crews on scene and will update this story as more information becomes available.

RELATED: Parents pick up West Liberty students after shooting


The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed a student was injured in the shooting. 

The student’s condition is unknown at this time. 

The law enforcement agency had declined to disclose the hospital where the student is being treated.

Parents of West Liberty-Salem students are being asked to pick up their children at the IGA grocery store on South Detroit Street near the high school following a school shooting. Parents are also meeting at the Lions Club Ball Park located near the school.

The incident is now contained with the shooter reportedly in custody. 

One person was reportedly shot. It’s unknown if the injured is a student or an adult.

Initial reports indicated the shot came through a window at the high school and shot someone in the boys bathroom near the science wing.

A firearm has reportedly been recovered. 

U.S. 68 is closed between W. Kanagy Road and Pimtown Road.

We have multiple crews en route and will update this story as additional information becomes available.

Budget includes new safety vehicles

Updated: Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 4:22 PM
By: Nancy Bowman - Contributing Writer

            Budget includes new safety vehicles
Vandalia’s largest capital projects for the year include a new fire truck and street work. CONTRIBUTED
Contact this contributing writer at

The city of Vandalia this year expects to spend more than $700,000 on new vehicles for its fire and medic crews.

The capital spending is part of a 2017 budget that estimates $43,820,643 in revenue and $43,226,180 in spending. Of that spending, $23,881,569 is in the city’s general fund.

Income tax collections in the city were “good” during the past year, making city leaders optimistic a 5 percent increase in 2016 collections would be confirmed when final budget numbers are available, said Rich Hopkins, city communication manager.

Among major capital projects planned is the purchase of a new fire engine expected to arrive in the first quarter. The cost is $485,000. A new medic unit sporting a heavy-duty truck chassis also is among planned purchases at around $235,000.

The annual street resurfacing program carried out since 2005 with a 0.50 percent income tax approved by voters, will cost between $400,000 and $500,000. The program calls for work on 15 to 20 streets and includes milling of worn surface.

Hopkins said the city has a formula to identify those streets most in need of work each year. “This has been a very successful project for us, and we’ve come a long way over the past 11 years in keeping our infrastructure in good condition,” he said.

Looking ahead, the city keeps a close eye the level of outside funding it will receive following “substantial cuts” from the state the past couple of years, Hopkins said. Income was lost due to changes in the local government fund and the estate tax.

The cuts aren’t over, with the city bracing for additional loss of income with changes stemming from House Bill 5.

Hopkins said the city likely would see the biggest hit coming from changes in how a business’ net operating loss is handled. Previously, a business was required to use a net operating loss on its current city return.

“Effective Jan. 1 that loss can be spread over a five-year period. This will very likely mean income tax collection will decrease as businesses will be able to more strategically apply losses for a more favorable tax impact,” he said. “This means one bad financial year for a business could mean up to five years of decreased income tax collection for the city.”

Donald Trump is the new president and local residents saw it happen in person

Published: Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 4:37 PM
Updated: Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 4:38 PM
By: Lynn Hulsey

4:20 p.m.

Area residents are in Washington D.C. now for the inauguration of Donald Trump as the nation's 45th president on Friday.

They are sharing comments, pictures and video about this moment in history that they are getting to experience first hand.

“I thought his speech was great,” said Clayton Councilman Kenneth Henning. “Time for the nation to come together as one for jobs, youth, security, education.”

“Outstanding speech,” said Scott Naill, a teacher from Clark County. “Straight to the point. It was uplifting knowing his goal is putting Americans back to work.”

Jet Express President Kevin Burch said he liked what Trump said about hiring Americans and buying American, bringing back jobs and repairing infrastructure.

“I really loved the speech. It had a clear vision,” Burch said. “As a small businessman I feel President Trump ‘gets it.’”

Local residents sent many photos from the events both last night and today. Here’s a sampling of the sights they saw during inauguration festivities.

 1 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s speech resonated with the crowd, said State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, who was in D.C. for the event.

Antani said the crowd around him was nodding, clapping and saying “yes” as Trump spoke, drawing himself as an outsider who would bring change to Washington. “Restoring American exceptionalism, putting America first, making America great again: I think that really resonated with the crowd here and I think it’s what people want from their president,” Antani said. “I think that really hit home with people.”

12:28 p.m.

Donald J. Trump is now president. His speech was filled with many of the same themes as his campaign.

“We the citizens of the America are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people,” Trump said after taking the oath of office. 

“January 20 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again,” he said.

Trump was sworn in as 45th president by Chief Justice John Roberts.

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, was there to hear Trump speak.

“I was very impressed with President Trump's inaugural address,” Antani said. “He spoke about restoring American exceptionalism and helping every American, the same things he did on the campaign trail. A lot of Ohioans are disenchanted with Washington, but President Trump's inaugural address sought to restore their hope for our country.”


Mike Pence just took the oath of office and is now the nation’s vice president. 

“It’s amazing. I will never forget this day,” said Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech, who is at the inauguration.

Now Donald Trump is taking the oath of office.

11:27 a.m

"Absolutely history in the making! Everyone around us are so excited to be here.. Meeting supporters from all across the country who are are true Americans!” said Scott Naill, a teacher from Clark County who is at the inauguration with his wife, Toni.

Friday dawned rainy but people were ready with rain gear, including protesters.“It is very energetic!! The protesters are proclaiming resistance to the system and speaking for protection of rights!” Ramey said. “There have been a few incidents where opposition has occurred between a protester and trump supporter. Arguments have been contained. People have expressed sincere passion for what they believed on both sides.”

Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech is there with his wife, Preble County Recorder Jeanne Creech. 

“Man this is cool,” said Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech, who was on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Thursday afternoon.

He said security was very tight.

“Has to be the safest place in America right now,” Creech said.

Michael D. Ramey, a senior business student at Wright State University, was taking lots of pictures Thursday afternoon.

“It’s been relatively peaceful,” said Ramey, 22, of Franklin. “There was a peaceful protester whose sign was taken from him and thrown in the fountain by Trump supporters.”

Earlier in the day Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

Trump also addressed the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial.

On Friday the inaugural ceremony will be followed by a parade and multiple galas and balls.

We have teams of reporters and photographers in Washington and here in Ohio covering all aspects of the inauguration.

Thank you to my wonderful team of local residents who were in Washington D.C. for the inauguration who sent me photos and comments: State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, Clayton Councilman Kenneth Henning, Wright State senior Michael D. Ramey, Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech, Jet Express President Kevin Burch, Scott Naill of Clark County, former Butler Twp. Trustee Nick Bursky, and Teri Schoch of Dayton

Inauguration of Donald Trump: Protesters, police clash

Published: Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 4:04 PM
Updated: Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 4:20 PM
By: Theresa Seiger - Cox Media Group National Content Desk

            Inauguration of Donald Trump: Protesters, police clash
Protesters React at Trump Inauguration

Police and protesters clashed Friday morning as activists took to the streets in opposition to the inauguration of Donald Trump.

>> Read more trending stories

In downtown Washington, police wearing bright yellow jackets confronted protesters wearing all black with what appeared to be pepper spray, The Associated Press reported. The activists carried signs denouncing capitalism and Trump.

Videos posted to social media showed protesters smashing the windows of nearby businesses and throwing trash cans into the street. About 100 protesters chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot" were cordoned off by police, according to the AP. 

A helicopter hovered overhead.

"No KKK, no fascist USA, no Trump," activists chanted as they carried signs down 7th Street.

Police said a group was seen marching south in northwest Washington around 10:30 a.m. As they traveled, some protesters broke off from the group to vandalize nearby businesses.

>> Related: Photos: Activists, police clash on Donald Trump's inauguration day

"More specifically, the group damaged vehicles, destroyed the property of multiple businesses and ignited smaller, isolated fires while armed with crowbars (and) hammers," the Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release.

Officers met protesters near the intersection of 12th and L streets, where they arrested several protesters on charges of rioting.

Pepper spray was used on the activists and two officers suffered minor injuries "from coordinated attacks by members of the group that were attempting to avoid arrest," according to police. Multiple police vehicles were also damaged.

At one point, authorities deployed tear gas canisters to disperse protesters gathered in Franklin Square, according to the Washington Post.


Donald Trump inauguration protests Jan 20, 2017 - 11:35 AM