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Published: Monday, November 28, 2016 @ 10:05 AM
The suspect in the Ohio State attack died of a gunshot wound to the head and chest, according to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office. That is the preliminary autopsy report released Wednesday Abdul Razak Ali Artan.
UPDATE @8:30 p.m. (Dec. 16)
Ohio State University police released body camera footage Friday that shows officers searching a building on campus to make sure there were no other suspects or victims following the Nov. 28 attack.
UPDATE @4:48 p.m. (Nov. 30)
The Franklin County Coroner’s Office released a preliminary cause of death for Ohio State attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan. The reports reveals Artan was shot in the head and chest. Information also released today by authorities — Artan purchased a knife from a local Walmart store in the hour before the attack. It is not clear whether that is the knife used in the attack near Watts Hall.
UPDATE @1:45 p.m. (Nov. 30)
One person who was present during the Ohio State attack Monday was shot in the foot, officials said during a press conference Wednesday. The officials said it’s likely that the victim was accidentally struck while Officer Alan Horujko shooting the attacker.
The FBI is currently leading the investigation, although several law enforcement agencies are involved. They said this afternoon that they continue to investigate the attack to determine a motive, and they believe Abdul Razak Ali Artan acted alone.
Although ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, it’s too soon to determine if it was a terrorism act, an FBI spokeswoman said. She noted that ISIS has a history of claiming responsibility for such attacks when the assailant isn’t alive to refute it.
However, she said, investigators believe Artan was inspired by ISIS and Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim cleric with ties to terrorism who was killed by the U.S.
Investigators have discovered that Artan purchased a knife hours before the attack, but they haven’t determined if the same knife was used in the attack, officials said. Investigators have executed search warrants on the attacker’s car and home, and are asking that anyone with information about his whereabouts prior to the attack to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).
UPDATE @ 3:56 p.m.
William Clark, an Ohio State professor and attack victim who talked to the media Tuesday, said the attack occurred about 40 minutes after he taught a class. He was about to get some coffee when the fire alarm of the building he was in sounded.
Everyone exited the building and were standing outside as firefighters responded to the fire alarm, Clark said. About 15-20 minutes later the firefighters said the building was safe, and as everyone was walking in, he heard some shouting and a crash. he said.
Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the attacker, had rammed his car into the crowd and he struck a large concrete barrier. Artan then exited the vehicle and started attacking students, the professor said. Clark, who had been clipped by the attacker’s vehicle and slammed to the ground, got up and started to get to the building quickly, he said.
Moments later he heard three shots. Horujk had killed the attacker, said Clark, who suffered two cuts near his ankles.
He said the attack was an isolated incident at a university of more than 50,000 students, and it does not define the school. “We’re a great university, we still beat Michigan,” he said.
Clark commended the officer for shooting Artan, saying Horujk had no choice and if the concrete barrier hadn’t stopped the attacker’s car, much more people could have been injured.
Law enforcement is investigating if the attack was terrorism-related, and the Islam State has reportedly claimed responsibility. But Clark said he’s not ready to jump to those conclusions just yet.
“Before I pass judgement on this young man, I’d like to see exactly what the circumstances were,” he said.
UPDATE @3:15 p.m.
Officer Horujk who engaged the attacker is doing well and is on administrative leave, which is procedure.
Andrew Thomas, chief medical officer for OSU hospital said one of the patients has been discharged, a professor who is at the press conference discussing the ordeal with reporters. Five other patients are still hospitalized, Thomas said.
They are all doing well, and they all still are working through the trauma, Thomas said, adding that he expects all the victims to make a full recovery.
It’s fortunate that the concrete barrier was there to stop the car. Had it not been there the attack’s car would have likely struck more people, said OSU Professor William Clark. He said he heard people screaming when the attack plowed into them. He did not hear the attacker say anything.
UPDATE @2:40 p.m. (Nov. 29):
The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for the knife attack on the OSU campus, Reuters news service is reporting. No other information about the terrorist group’s involvement was immediately available. However, Ohio State office have planned a 3 p.m. news conference today. Watch it here live.
UPDATE @ 10:10 p.m. (Nov. 28):
The Ohio State University student who carried out a knife attack on campus Monday said in a Facebook post he was “sick and tired” of seeing fellow Muslims “killed and tortured,” CNN is reporting, as according to federal law enforcement officials.
According to CNN, investigators are examining Abdul Razak Ali Artan’s Facebook page to determine whether the attack was terrorism, though law enforcement officials said it will take time to ascertain motive.
In a Facebook post shortly before the Monday morning rampage, the Somali immigrant urged America “to stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah,” a term for Muslim people at large.
“By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.”
A Somali-born attacker who appeared to be acting alone drove his car into a crowd of Ohio State University students and staff Monday morning, then got out and started swinging a butcher knife, injuring at least 11 people before he was shot and killed by a campus police officer.
Andrew Thomas, chief medical officer at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center, said the 11 injuries were a mix of stab wounds and injuries from being hit by the car. None were life-threatening.
The attacker was identified as 20-year-old OSU student Abdul Razak Ali Artan. Columbus police Chief Kim Jacobs said late Monday afternoon that police were waiting on a search warrant for Artan’s home and were trying to talk to people who knew him. Law enforcement officials did not comment on a possible motive, saying the investigation was ongoing.
Artan was featured in OSU’s “The Lantern” student newspaper in late August. In that “Humans of Ohio State” feature, he was described as a third-year student in logistics management who had just transferred from Columbus State. He was quoted as saying he was nervous about saying his Muslim prayers in public, and blamed the media for creating a certain image of Muslims.
OSU President Michael Drake praised the quick response of law enforcement and urged people to let the investigation move forward without jumping to conclusions.
“We don’t know anything that would link this to any community. We certainly don’t have any evidence that would say that’s the case,” Drake said. “What we want to do is really unify together, support each other, do our best to support those who were injured in their recovery, and then allow the investigation to take place, and not jump to conclusions that could in fact create a bad situation where one doesn’t exist.”
Drake and others thanked campus police officer Alan Horujko, 28, who responded immediately. OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said Horujko, who has been with OSU police for almost two years, was already outside Watts Hall, where the incident occurred, because of an apparently unrelated fire alarm. Stone said the attack “happened right before his eyes.”
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther thanked Horujko and others in law enforcement for their work, saying, “It’s never been a more dangerous, complicated, challenging time to be a police officer.”
“Today is one of those days you’re grateful for good training and great people across the board,” Ginther said. President Drake and I had the opportunity to meet with the outstanding young law enforcement officer this afternoon. … We had a dynamic, well-trained professional today save the lives of many of our residents and students.”
How it happened
Shortly after 9:30 a.m., students in Watts Hall on the north side of campus were evacuated because of a fire alarm. Stone said there was a report of a gas leak in the building.
“The whole class was like, is this a drill? And someone came in and said, this is real, we have to evacuate,” said Jared Crandall, an OSU junior materials science major who recently transferred from the University of Dayton. “We were just standing outside talking amongst ourselves. … Then I heard the car. It turned the corner really fast and jumped on the curb and that was all I heard.”
The car was a silver Honda sedan that turned west off of College Road onto 19th Avenue, a street that narrows as it runs between multi-story science and engineering buildings. Stone said police have reviewed camera video that proves Artan was in the car by himself.
Crandall said at first he wasn’t sure why the car went onto the sidewalk, adding that Artan had to go around a public safety vehicle to get there.
“He comes onto the curb and he’s headed toward all of us. He’s almost directly in the line of path to me and some friends. Luckily we took a couple steps to the side, and he happened to swerve a bit the other way, so we were fine,” Crandall said. “Someone behind me got hit a little bit and hurt her ankle but she’s OK. He kept going and … I saw him after he was out of the car. I turned and saw what was happening. I saw this guy with this knife and he was just swinging it around.”
Both Crandall and Monica Moll, OSU’s director of public safety, said the incident happened in a flash.
“At 9:52, the officer involved called (to the dispatch center) that a car had hit about seven to eight pedestrians,” Moll said. “Just a few seconds later, also at 9:52, the officer made a call that indicated officer in trouble, that there was a man with a knife. At 9:53 that same officer called out that there were shots fired and that he had one person down. That’s when the officer … used deadly force to stop the threat.”
Police officials now say Artan acted alone, and the threat was over in two minutes. But police, students and the city as a whole didn’t know that at the time. The first alert from university officials went out at 9:55 a.m., saying, “Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.”
The campus was on lockdown for about 90 minutes, as authorities checked for a possible second attacker. People who were outdoors ran, and students and staff indoors followed instructions to shelter in place, locking themselves in classrooms and offices. Some students tweeted pictures of the mountain of chairs they had used to barricade their doors.
Law enforcement officials surrounded and searched the Lane Avenue parking garage, at one point handcuffing two people. But police eventually established that there was no second attacker, and said once they identified the pair from the garage, they were released.
Drake cancelled classes for the rest of the day, but the university will resume its normal schedule on Tuesday.
“We live in an unstable world unfortunately, and we have to continue to do our best to protect ourselves,” he said.