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Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 @ 3:28 PM
Columbus — 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.
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:
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 1:48 PM
DARKE COUNTY — The pilot in a Darke County plane crash that killed him and his passenger in 2016 had cocaine, alcohol and other drugs in his system at the time of the crash, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board released this week.
Clayton Heins, 20, took off from a private grass airstrip around 8 a.m. on Sept. 14 before crashing in a field near Dull Road.
Heins passenger, Jacob Turner, 18, also was killed in the crash.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Preliminary report out in fatal Darke County plane crash
The wreckage was found in a cornfield, about 150 yards east of a railroad bed and north of Dull Road by a family member in a search plane, which had been sent up because the victims had been reported as missing and unaccounted for, a Darke County deputy said.
Heins was a student pilot.
“Although federal regulations do not allow a student pilot to carry passengers, the student pilot and a passenger departed from a private airstrip on a personal flight in the airplane,” the report read. “During the flight the passenger posted on social media a video that showed the airplane maneuvering at a low altitude.”
Toxicology testing of Heins “indicated the use of multiple psychoactive drugs, including alprazolam, cocaine, ethanol and hydroxyzine.”
“The combined effects of these drugs likely impaired his ability to safely perform low-altitude maneuvers,” the report read.
The NTSB determined the probable cause of the crash to be a result of the “student pilot’s reckless flying attitude and use of multiple psychoactive drugs, which likely impaired his ability to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering at low altitude,” according to the report.
Heins has accumulated 31 total hours of flying and his last recorded flight before the crash was on Dec. 23, 2012, according to the report.
The NTSB reported people interviewed by law enforcement told investigators that two weeks before the crash, Heins “had returned from a substance abuse rehabilitation facility where he was treated for heroin addiction for about 30 days,” the report read.
The airplane involved in the crash, which was registered to Heins’ father, was a Piper PA 11.
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:06 PM
— Two black men arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks last week after the coffee shop’s manager called 911 to report them for trespassing spoke publicly for the first time Thursday.
Police detained the men after Starbucks employees said the pair was denied the use of the store’s bathroom and refused to leave, police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that they were arrested while waiting to meet with a potential business partner at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce streets. They said they arrived 10 minutes early for their scheduled 4:45 p.m. meeting. A manager called 911 to report that the men were refusing to leave at 4:37 p.m., according to “Good Morning America.”
FULL INTERVIEW: "This is something that has been going on for years...everyone is blind to it." Rashon Nelson & Donte Robinson, the 2 black men arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, speak out exclusively to @GMA: https://t.co/0MwL2JMNU5 pic.twitter.com/Le3nnzbOKw— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) April 19, 2018
Robinson said he didn’t believe officers were at the coffee shop for him and Nelson when he first spotted them last week. Nelson said it became apparent when the officers asked them to leave.
“There was no question of, you know, was there a problem here between you guys and a manager? You know, what happened?” Nelson told “Good Morning America.”
The men said they were not read their Miranda rights before they were handcuffed and put in the back of a police car. A bystander recorded footage of the arrests that was later posted on social media, sparking criticism and raising questions of racial bias.
“This is something that has been going on for years and everyone’s blind to it, but they know what’s going on,” Nelson said. “It’s not just a black people thing, this is a people thing. And that’s exactly what we want to see out of this … true change.”
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to the men in a private meeting with them Monday, a Starbucks spokesperson told CNN. The spokesperson declined to elaborate on what took place during the meeting.
Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz apologized Wednesday morning for the incident in an appearance on “CBS This Morning.”
Johnson apologized for the incident in a statement Saturday and pledged to investigate.
More than 8,000 Starbucks stores will be closed nationwide May 29 for a one-day training aimed at educating employees about racial bias. Company officials said nearly 175,000 employees across the country will receive the training, which will become a regular part of the company’s onboarding process.
Johnson said Tuesday that the planned racial-bias training “is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local community.”
“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said.
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 1:39 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:15 PM
BUTLER COUNTY — Hundreds of phone calls and text messages as well as the testimony of reluctant witnesses marked the second day of testimony in the death penalty trial of Michael Grevious II.
Grevious, 25, of Hamilton, is facing the death penalty if found guilty of aggravated murder for allegedly ordering a retaliation shooting in August 2016. He is also charged with having weapons under disability and felonious assault for violence that happened one month earlier at a Hamilton bar that has since been razed.
Here are highlights from Thursday in court:
Text message from Lil Mike: ‘Delete everything’
Hamilton Detective Aaron Hucke testified he extracted data from a cell phone belonging to Zachary Harris, who was in the truck on Aug. 3, 2016 when Orlando Gilbert and Todd Berus were shot and killed in what prosecutors say was a retaliation shooting for gun violence at Doubles Bar.
More than 200 calls and texts were placed from Harris’s phone to a number with the contact “Lil Mike the Skitzo” from the end of July 2o16 to Aug. 2, 2016 when “Skitzo” says to “delete everything,” according to Hamilton police.
The messages used slang and referenced a hit on Orlando Gilbert, according to police.
During cross examination, defense attorney David Washington pointed out there was nothing to indicate money had been paid to kill Gilbert. He also noted there was no proof to the identity of “Skitzo.”
Reluctant witnesses takes the stand
Bryann Johnson, cousin of Kalif Goens, who was killed in the shooting at Doubles Bar, took the stand and admitted she didn’t want to be there.
“In fact we had to arrest you, isn’t that right?” Assistant Prosecutor Brad Burress asked her.
She answered, “Yes.”
Earlier this week, Judge Greg Stephens issued warrants for two witnesses who did not show up when subpoenaed.
Johnson said she was at Doubles Bar the night of the shooting and saw a commotion between members of two families.
Grevious was “right there with them,” she said, but didn’t know if he was part of the ruckus.
When shots rang out, Johnson said everyone started running and hiding.
She started screaming for someone to help Kalif Goens.
“He was bleeding. He was just laying there. His eyes were still open,” Johnson said.
Burress asked Johnson if she saw Grevious — known to her as “Lil Mike” — with a gun.
“I can’t honestly say that I did,” she said.
But Burress noted that in her statement to police days after the incident she said she saw a gun in Grevious’ pocket.
Erika Ash, a second reluctant witness, took the stand telling the jury she saw Grevious on top of a pool table shooting at Doubles Bar.
“He was shooting,” Ash said while wiping away tears. She said the shots started flying after people began shoving on the dance floor.
Washington questioned Ash about her alcohol intake at the bar. At the time she was 18 years old. Ash said she had two mixed drinks and had been smoking marijuana earlier in the day.
She could not say specifically how may shots she heard fired or what Grevious was wearing or what the gun looked like, when asked by Washingotn.
“In the middle of all this chaos (shooting, people running) you were able to see Mike on top of the table shooting?” Washington asked.
Ash answered, “Yes.”
Items from crime scene shown
Hamilton Detective Steve Hamilton, crime scene investigator, showed the jury eight large shell casings found at drive-by shooting scene.
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:13 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:31 PM
— UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.:
Madeline Marx, the former Kettering Fairmont substitute teacher who pleaded guilty to sex charges involving students, was sentenced to five years of community control sanctions for each of two convictions of sexual battery, but will avoid prison.
Marx was also labeled as a Tier III sex offender, requiring her to register her address every 90 days for the rest of her life.
Marx was ordered to undergo sexual offender counseling, and is not to have contact with any of the victims.
Marx is also not to enter into any Kettering City Schools facilities.
Marx, through tears, apologizes to the victims and their families, expresses sorrow for what she’s done, says she’s thankful for letters of support and says she’s “so sorry” for all she did. pic.twitter.com/2isOmdyN0A— Mike Campbell (@MCampbellWHIO) April 19, 2018
Judge says he’s read the arguments from both sides about their desire for Marx’s sentence, says he received 38 letters of support for her. Judge says he reviewed 1 letter from the state of Ohio.(appparently written by a victim’s mother). pic.twitter.com/IqXt0Nf6wn— Mike Campbell (@MCampbellWHIO) April 19, 2018
Judge calls Madeline Marx and her lawyer forward in preparation of sentencing.— Mike Campbell (@MCampbellWHIO) April 19, 2018
Judge says one parent of victim asked for prison time for Marx, that another set of parents of a second victim thought community control(probation) would be proper. pic.twitter.com/ZiI5WrUIoj
Kettering Fairmont substitute teacher Madeline J. Marx is scheduled to be sentenced today on sexual battery charges in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
Marx, 24, pleaded and was found guilty of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with two students and was arrested last November. She is to appear today in front of Judge Steven Dankof.
A 17-year-old student told police he was given oral sex by a teacher July 19 in the parking lot of Big Lots on Wilmington Pike, according to the complaint, affidavit and statement of facts filed in court.
A 16-year-old boy told police he had intercourse with a substitute teacher Sept. 21 in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Smithville Road, according to court documents.
Marx was removed from Fairmont’s building Nov. 8 by police. Marx admitted to having sexual relationships with multiple students, according to court documents.
An affidavit said Marx also confessed to sending several nude pictures via Snapchat and Instagram.
A prosecutor’s office press release indicated Marx also substitute taught in Oakwood. School officials in Oakwood sent parents a letter saying that they did not know of any victims in their school district.
State records indicated Marx has a four-year teaching license as a K-12 education intervention specialist.
Marx graduated in 2012 from Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton and graduated from the University of Dayton in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in education, according to CJ and UD officials.
According to her UD transcript included in her personnel file, Marx withdrew from a fall 2013 class on sexual ethics.