At approximately 4 p.m. Monday, University President. Michael V. Drake began a press conference that confirmed the identity of the deceased suspect and the police officer who shot him.
The suspect was an Ohio State student identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a third-year in logistics management. The motive is unknown at the time of the conference and the investigation is ongoing, director of student public safety Monica Moll said.
Twenty-eight-year-old University Police officer Alan Horujko shot the suspect and ended the threat. Moll also provided a timeline of the incident.
Moll said Horujko arrived on scene on 19th Avenue and College Road outside of Watts Hall at 9:52 a.m. He called into the dispatch center that a car had hit seven to eight pedestrians. Seconds later, Artan got out of the car with a knife and began cutting individuals. Horujko called in an “officer in trouble” situation.
At 9:53 a.m., the officer called that shots had been fired and one person was down. The officer engaged the suspect and used deadly force to stop the threat. Moll said the threat to safety ended at that time and that several other law enforcement agencies responded to the scene in addition to more University Police officers.
“I just wanted to say that, first, I had the chance to speak with the officer who was the first responder and to thank him for following his training and being able to neutralize the circumstance within roughly one minute,” Drake said.
As a result of the incident, 11 people were injured — including at least one faculty member, one staff member and seven students — and were treated at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Grant Medical Center and OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, said Dr. Andrew Thomas, chief medical officer at the Wexner Medical Center. Injuries being treated ranged from lacerations to muscular and skeletal injuries from being struck by the car.
Though the exact explanation behind the fire alarm being set off is unknown, University Police Chief Craig Stone said it was a fortunate series of events.
“We believe that (the fire alarm) was a separate incident,” Stone said. “It was fortunate that it did happen so an officer could be in the right place at the right time. He was able to see this whole thing happen and take immediate action.”
Stone said at the news conference that he and the department were able to identify that Artan was the only person in the car and he acted alone on Monday. Stone said authorities determined by use of video cameras around campus that Artan entered campus via Kenny Road and Woody Hayes Drive. The cameras also captured Artan driving on Woodruff Avenue before he drove onto the curb on 19th Avenue, plowing into pedestrians standing in the area.
The Columbus Division of Police, the FBI, the Ohio highway patrol’s Special Response Team and the county sheriff’s department all continue to cooperate with OSU PD in the investigation.
Ohio Governor John Kasich joined Drake, Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Stone and Thomas to address the campus community.
“When you think about the students, the parents, many of whom were texting and Snapchatting their kids — it’s remarkable what these first responders did,” Kasich said. “There would be a lesson for all across America and all the campuses across America about what you do when things like this happen.”
Kasich also said that those wanting more information should trust in the process of law enforcement and let the investigation run its course.
Ginther and Beatty both echoed Kasich and expressed gratitude for the quick actions of students and law enforcement, as well as the Buckeye Alert system that notified students of the then-ongoing threat.
“There’s never been a more dangerous or complicated and challenging time to be a police officer,” Ginther said. “We have a dynamic, well-trained professional today who saved the lives of many of our residents and students … When a difficult, challenging tragedy takes place in our communities, they are raising and running right into the heart of the danger.”
Kasich ended his comments by saying that incidents like these need the support from not just current students and staff, but the entire community of Columbus and those connected to the university.
“This is where I started. This is where I wandered as an 18-year-old into the president’s office … This is just an incredible and magnificent place,” he said. “We are a strong, tough, resilient community … It’s just not the students who got to school here that count, it’s anybody that has ever touched this place who will think and be affected by what happened today.”