Today’s Ohio State University attacker was identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, born in Somalia and a legal permanent U.S. resident, according to a U.S. official remaining anonymous because he was not authorized to discuss the case.
Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said in a press conference that the assailant deliberately drove his small gray car over a curb outside an engineering classroom building and then began knifing people. Surveillance images showed that the suspect was in the car by himself just prior to the attack. Investigators are still working to determine if any other suspects were involved with the attack, and the FBI has joined the investigation.
A campus police officer who happened to be nearby because of previous a gas leak arrived on the scene and shot the driver in less than a minute, Stone said. The police officer who neutralized the attacker is identified as Alan Horujko, 28. He has been on the police department for almost two years.
Ohio State’s student newspaper, The Lantern, published an interview in August 2016 about a student named Abdul Razak Artan, who identified himself as a Muslim and a third-year logistics management student. He said he had just transferred from Columbus State in the fall, and said was looking for a place to pray openly and worried about how he would be received.
“I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads.”
— Abdul Razak Artan
Federal law enforcement officials and terror experts warned for years about online extremist propaganda that encourages on soft targets utilizing knife and car attacks. Intelligence sources have warned that Islamic State group has urged sympathizers to carry out “lone-wolf” attacks, using whatever weapons are available. A new ISIS jihadist publication Rumiyah recently recommended vehicle attacks on crowds 10 days ago.
The initial tweet from the university’s emergency management department went out around 10 a.m. ET and warned: “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.”
Ohio State President Michael Drake explained the active-shooter warning was issued after shots were heard on campus — before people knew the shots were from the police officer’s weapon.
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