Chaos erupted on the campus of Ohio State University yesterday morning after a man intentionally struck a group of pedestrians with a car and ensued to cut victims with a butcher knife. The suspect, an OSU student named Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was shot and killed by police less than a minute after the attack transpired. But still, his senseless attack sent 11 victims to OSU’s Wexner Medical Center, one of which is considered to be in critical condition.
The emergency dispatch center has received a report at 9:52 AM that a group of pedistrians were struck by a vehicle. When OSU police officer Alan Horujko reported to the scene and engaged the suspect, Artan had already gotten out of his car and began attacking victims with a knife. After ignoring Horujko’s orders to stop, the officer had no choice but to shoot and kill the suspect. Though the investigation is still underway, campus footage shows that Artan had acted alone in the attack.
Soon after the attack, the school sent out a campus alert reporting an active shooter incident, sending students to barricade themselves until the lockdown was lifted 90 minutes later.
Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.— OSU Emergency Mngmnt (@OSU_EMFP) November 28, 2016
According to CNN, the attacker was a Somali-born student who posted on Facebook that he was "sick and tired" of seeing fellow Muslims "killed and tortured” prior to the attack. The Muslim background of the suspect is sure to ruffle some feathers in Ohio, which has the second-largest Somali community in the country.
In a news conference on Monday afternoon, Ohio State President Dr. Michael V. Drake cautioned against immediately concluding whether the incident was terror-related or not. But some of OSU’s Muslim student body is already fearing what will result from the attack by Artan. According to NPR, one senior student named Mohamed Farah expressed that the attack would lead to a day of “trepidation” for Somalians on campus “that wear a head scarf” or are named Mohammed like himself.
With police still investigating the exact motives of his attacks, the fear of retaliation is a growing concern for these communities as hate crimes against Muslims continues to increase. As tensions in the country continue to build in the face of an impending Donald Trump presidency, it’s important that Americans of all religious and ethnic backgrounds work together to ensure safety for the entirety of our culturally diverse population.