National eyes turned toward Columbus Monday after an assailant attacked people on the Ohio State University campus. According to news reports, “a student veered his car onto the sidewalk, leaped out and stabbed several people with a butcher knife.” The suspect was reportedly shot dead by a campus police officer within minutes of launching the attack.
From the New York Times:
Two law enforcement officials identified the suspected attacker as Abdul Artan, 18. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the name had not been made public. The officials said that Mr. Artan was of Somali descent.
Mr. Artan is listed as a logistics management major in Ohio State’s online directory. Officials at Columbus State Community College said Mr. Artan also attended that school and graduated with an associate of arts degree. He was on the Columbus State dean’s list in 2015 and graduated cum laude.
The authorities said on Monday afternoon that they were investigating whether the attack may have been an act of terrorism.
“We believe the threat was ended when the officer engaged the suspect,” said Monica Moll, the university’s director of public safety. “We’re very fortunate that an O.S.U.P.D. officer was there and took quick action, and we believe that injuries were minimized as a result of that.”
Eight of the hospitalized victims were believed to be stable, and another patient in critical condition was expected to survive.
“This was done on purpose,” said Chief Craig Stone of the Ohio State University police. “To go over the curb and strike pedestrians and then get out and start striking with the knife — that was on purpose.”
Ohio politicians responded to the violence by thanking first responders and sending their thoughts and prayers to the Ohio State community. Here are some of their responses, culled together from press releases and news reports.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich: “My thoughts are with the victims of the attack right now. I am grateful for the professional, coordinated response from first responders whose efforts helped this effectively contain this incident before further harm could be done.”
Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina: “We have great faith that law enforcement will help bring justice to the people responsible for this cowardly attack.”
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville: “(Thanks to emergency first responders) for their quick response to this dangerous situation. Because of their diligence and commitment to keeping our city and students safe, the threat was quickly contained and further injury prevented. Students also deserve credit for cooperating with university officials and law enforcement as the situation unfolded.”
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther: “I want to send a clear message to the university and the entire community that the city of Columbus will devote whatever resources are necessary to work closely with (OSU) President Drake and his team to make sure everyone feels safe in this neighborhood and throughout our great city.”
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati: “Jane and I send our thoughts and prayers to The Ohio State University and Columbus community following today’s horrific attack on campus. As local, state and federal authorities continue to investigate the perpetrator of this attack, my office and I stand ready to help in any way possible.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Lorain: “Connie (Schultz) and I are thinking of the entire OSU community and our first responders as they work to keep students and faculty safe.”
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles: “My heart breaks for everyone in Columbus today. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and first responders of this horrifying and senseless act of violence at The Ohio State University.”
U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Delaware County: “Today we hold The Ohio State University and our fellow Buckeyes close to our hearts. In the wake of this senseless violence, I would like to thank the school officials, police officers and all the emergency responders for their actions to secure campus and keep our students safe. As we wait to learn more, I’m praying for the victims and hope for their swift and full recoveries.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington: “My thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by today’s events at Ohio State. Thank you to all of the law enforcement and first responders who acted quickly to protect the students and faculty on campus. I will continue to monitor updates from the investigation, and hope for a speedy recovery for those who were injured.”
U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Jefferson Township: “This morning an assailant attacked individuals at The Ohio State University. The incident is under investigation and information is still being gathered. At this time, my thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with the victims, their families, friends and the entire Ohio State University student body and community. I thank the multiagency taskforce for their quick and decisive response and applaud OSU for swiftly activating its alert system.”