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Ohio State community shaken following violent attack on campus

A police officer and two other emergency personnel stand near a body lying near the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Chemistry building on North Campus. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo Editor

A police officer and two other emergency personnel stand near a body lying near the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Chemistry building on North Campus. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo Editor

Eleven people were injured Monday morning following an attack outside of Watts Hall on the Ohio State campus.

At 9:52 a.m., Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a third-year in logistics management, drove a gray Honda Civic sedan into a crowd of people gathered outside for a fire drill. Artan then leaped out of the vehicle and reportedly began to attack the crowd with a butcher knife. Artan was the only one killed, with others being sent to various hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, although one was in critical condition. All classes were canceled Monday.

The attack resulted in a Buckeye Alert text message sent to students, and the university declaring a shelter-in-place command across campus. The shelter-in-place order was lifted just after 11:30 a.m., although police officers were still conducting searches in and around the Lane Avenue Garage, where officers looked for other suspects. OSU initially reported there was an active shooter, but police later said that there was neither evidence of a firearm nor other suspects.

Artan was shot and killed by University Police officer Alan Horujko within about a minute of the attack, University Police Chief Craig Stone said during a news conference held Monday. Those injured suffered knife wounds, as well as injuries associated with the motor-vehicle attack, and were transported to three area hospitals.

“Police responded very quickly. Immediately. Twenty seconds. Maybe less. Really quick,” said Michael Cloonan, second-year in welding engineering who was outside of Smith Laboratory at the time of the attack.

A timeline of the series of events during the violent attack that took place on-campus on Nov. 28. Photo illustration by J.L. Lacar | Design Editor

A timeline of the series of events during the violent attack that took place on-campus on Nov. 28. Photo illustration by J.L. Lacar | Design Editor

As the story made the rounds across news media on Monday, many were quick to bring up suspicions of terrorism, although no evidence linking Artan to terrorism have been made available.

“I think people should exercise enormous caution based on only a few data points. People need to exercise caution,” said Dakota Rudesill, a professor at the Moritz College of Law. “Even if we were to determine in some way (this attack was an act of terror), people need to be extremely cautious in linking this individual with larger groups.”

Rudesill, a counter-terrorism expert, said there are a number of factors law enforcement consider before ruling something as an act of terror. Circumstantial factors, such as race, religion and country of origin, and direct factors, such as a statement of intent posted on social media or a written letter, play a role in determining an event as terrorism. Though they are important, Rudesill said circumstantial factors alone are not enough to rule something like Monday’s attack as terrorism.

“It’s awfully important for people to differentiate between circumstantial, which could be religious affiliation or ethnicity, and direct factors, like a statement of intent or communication with an individual involved with a terrorism group,” Rudesill said.

At a second news conference, it was said that those injured included four graduate students, three undergraduate students, one faculty member, and one staff member from the traffic and parking department, which is separate from the University Police department. Whether the other victims are associated with the university was unknown as of Monday night.

University President Michael Drake was joined by Ohio Gov. John Kasich and other local elected officials at the 4 p.m. press briefing at the Ross Heart Hospital, who all lauded the efforts of all law enforcement involved in ongoing investigation. Kasich shared a personal anecdote at the news conference about his emotional connection to the university and the students.

“This is where I started … This is just an incredible and magnificent place,” Kasich said. “We are a strong, tough, resilient community and … it’s just not the students who go to school here that count, it’s anybody that has ever touched this place who will think and be affected by what happened today.”

Artan was featured in an August edition of The Lantern, in the print-only feature “Humans of Ohio State.” He expressed anxiety about being new on campus, having just transferred from Columbus State Community College.

Drake sent out an email to students Monday night in response to the incident.

“Days such as these test our spirit as Buckeyes — but together we remain unified in the face of adversity,” Drake said in the email. “I encourage anyone in our community in need of assistance to utilize the university’s resources.”

Multiple vigils were held as a show of support for the victims, starting at 4 p.m. and continuing throughout the evening.


  1. Thank you to all the responding officers that did an outstanding job in neutralizing this quickly. You make everyone in Buckeye Nation proud.

    Mark Hundley ’89

  2. Thoughts and prayers to all the students, faculty, staff, family members and friends who were affected by this madness. And thank you to all of the outstanding responders who did their job in a professional, thorough and expeditious manner.

    Greg Dienstberger
    BSME ’93

  3. Incredible response by law enforcement at OSU to nip a potential massacre in the bud. I received all of the prompt emergency messages while in Mexico and immediately knew there was a dangerous situation on campus that was then live on CNN in Mexico. Cheers to all first responders and heroic students, staff and faculty. Proud to be a Buckeye!

    • fan of good journalism

      With all due respect to the great work by law enforcement… others at OSU should answer about letting this dangerous situation occur. If I was a parent of an OSU student, I would like to be secure in the knowledge that the next Artan is not already on campus.

      From one of my favorite founders, Ben Franklin – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

  4. No other “religion” in the world has phobia attached to it.

  5. Sorry to hear so many were injured and one killed my prayers go to all the families involved..

  6. fan of good journalism

    Was this young man paying tuition? Or was he a “scholarship” need case?

    Was he academically qualified, or did he get a bump in the admissions department?

    Were there any clues that he was a potential terrorist? Ones that were ignored for fear of being politically incorrect?

    Should the parents of the current students be concerned that they are subsidizing this and other potential terrorists with their tuition dollars?

    An enterprising journalist at the Lantern might dare to ask some of these questions.

  7. How come no one is reporting on the student that suffered a gunshot wound to the leg? Apparently by the officer? it was mentioned in the Dispatch but no where else. Just curious, seems strange that this is being ignored and seemingly covered up.

    • I’m wondering what your point is. To stop the guy from killing even more people, he had to take his chances on what might happen in a crowd. If it was me that got shot in the leg, but then lead to the death of the shooter, I would get treated, and go back to class the next day. Everyone else considers the cop a hero, but not you, evidently?

  8. Hopefully the clueless white liberal students that infest the campus understand now that Muslims are the scourge of the world.

    • Yes, let’s ignore all the other crimes that happen on and around campus every week….

    • The clueless poorgressives don’t realize that this is their doing. THEY LET THEM IN.
      Their creation has returned to the Castle Frankenstein.
      It takes a lot of mental illness to construct a reality that doesn’t exist and live in it.
      These jihadis demons will have to get all their “action” in before Obama leaves, so they can insure no retaliation, and a government who publicly blames someone and something other than them.

      They may not be so lucky next year.

      We must let the terrorists in or they will kill us.
      Have you heard about the new group?
      Muslims against terrorism?
      Neither have I!

      • fan of good journalism

        While your comments might be a bit hyperbolic … I think you are actually underestimating your best point.

        The crime is not letting them in. The crime is that they recruited them. When I say they I refer to the clueless elites who run the federal and state governments along with the university administration.

        About 100,000 Somali refugees have come to the US since 9/11. And, before you rush to condemn Obama… about half came on Dubya’s watch. Why would any sane leader actively bring people from an area like Somalia. Trump might sound simplistic, but his declaration that we can’t allow immigration from countries where large swaths of the population hate us is completely reasonable. There is no benefit to the USA to bring these people here, so why take the risk?

        Yet, we actively bring in more and more refugees from countries like Syria and Somalia? Are we unable to connect the dots? Once the refugees get here, the clueless guilt ridden university leaders create special programs to give them a free education. That free education is not free, it comes in the form of higher tuition for the legal Americans who put their kids through college.

        The whole system is perverse. It is wrong and nobody other than Donald Trump and a few others like Ann Coulter have had the onions to state the truth. We live in that dangerous and deceitful time where telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

        Consider that the entire elite media complex has been obsessed with labeling a very good man Jeff Sessions as a racist, while ignoring that the democrats may be pushing Keith Ellison, a man associated with the muslim brotherhood, for minority leader.

        Again, if there is a journalist at the Lantern, they will demand to know if this young man was paying tuition and who was paying his bills. Not too mention, did he get a pass in the admissions department? Fair questions to ask when the average kid in Ohio has to meet academic standards and pay tuition.

        • Who was paying his bills?
          Catholic Charities helped resettle the jihadi into America’s heartland.
          It was June 5, 2014 when a young teenager named Abul [sic] Razak Ali Artan arrived in Dallas with his mother and six siblings.

          A little more than two years before he was the suspect in a violent knife attack on the Ohio State campus.

          “We gave them aid and comfort and some shelter as part of the government resettlement program,” explained Catholic Charities C.E.O. Dave Woodyard.

          The Somali immigrants arrived from Pakistan at D/FW International Airport via JFK International Airport.

          Catholic Charities says someone from the organization likely picked the family up from the airport when they arrived.

          According to Catholic Charities of Dallas records, the family was in temporary housing in Dallas for 23 days, leaving June 28, 2014.

          “Then they emigrated. Left, and moved onto Columbus, Ohio,” Woodyard said. “And that’s when we closed our file.”…

          They closed their file and their eyes along with the alphabet of Federal
          Agencies that are supposed to protect American citizens from these deranged demons.

          I sincerely hope the victims get lawyers and start SUING.

          • fan of good journalism

            The bigger question is who paid the bills since June 28, 2014.

            My guess is our federal government is paying millions, perhaps billions, to refugee families in welfare, food stamps, housing aid and free secondary education. And, in return, a sizable number have already enlisted in isis or carried out acts of terror. Remember that knife attack at the mall in Minnesota? Remember the tsarnaev brothers?

            It is a bad investment of our tax dollars. We can’t solve all of the world’s problems and we certainly should not import the problems to our homeland. This is why we have a President elect Trump.

            Who do you want the victims to sue? The federal government?

        • Check your sources

          Very Good Reply. You have done your homework!

        • The Jumping to Conclusions board

          Impressive conclusion jumping. He spent two years at Columbia State before transferring to OSU. People who do that generally don’t have the money and/or grades for a full 4 years at a university.

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