Suspect Dead After Knife And Car Attack At Ohio State University
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
An attack this morning on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus has left one suspect dead and at least nine people hospitalized. Jess Mador off member station WYSO joins us from the campus in Columbus. Hi there.
JESSICA MADOR, BYLINE: Hi.
SHAPIRO: What can you tell us about what happened today?
MADOR: Well, campus police say a man intentionally, they say, drove onto a curb and into a crowd of pedestrians just before 10 this morning. And at a press conference later, university president Michael Drake says the man then got out of the vehicle and began stabbing people with a butcher knife. Within minutes, authorities say a campus police officer had shot and killed the attacker.
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MICHAEL DRAKE: We were so grateful that our police were there on the scene able to neutralize the situation, that the injuries were not more severe than they were and that, as you understand, people have been to the hospital, already treated and released in some cases, operated on but out of the operating room already in other cases. So we're pleased that those injuries aren't any more serious.
MADOR: And that was the voice of OSU President Michael Drake. He says victims were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. These included stab wounds and injuries from the car. And so far, the identities of the victims have not yet been released.
SHAPIRO: I know you've been talking to people on campus today. What has the reaction been? What have students told you?
MADOR: Several students and staff members told me that emergency alerts that came - some of them came through text message or email - were a little vague. So they said they were told to, quote, "run, hide, fight." And 21-year-old radiology student Gabriela Lemus (ph) says she was on lockdown with her fellow students for about two hours in the classroom.
GABRIELA LEMUS: We were just locked in. They locked all the doors in the classroom and stuff. So we were just there, you know, just supporting one another. And then we had friends and families call and just check up on us and make sure everything was OK. But, I mean, luckily we're far away on south campus.
MADOR: And by early afternoon, people were once again walking around on campus. But it was a little subdued. Streets that had been closed immediately after the attack were re-opened again. And university officials had canceled classes for the remainder of the day.
SHAPIRO: And, Jess, what can you tell us about the suspect in this attack?
MADOR: He has been identified as 18-year-old OSU student Abdul Razak Ali Artan. And the AP reports he was born in Somalia. Police say it's unclear whether the suspect had a gun or other weapons in addition to the knife at the time of the attack. They do believe he was the only person involved in the attack. And the student newspaper on campus, "The Lantern," had written recently a short profile of him back in August where he talked about being an observant Muslim and that he was nervous about praying openly on campus.
So officials say they have no information about a possible motive for the attack. And so far, the investigation is still ongoing.
SHAPIRO: That's Jess Mador of member station WYSO speaking with us from Columbus, Ohio. Thanks a lot.
MADOR: Thank you.
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