A news conference was held at 1 p.m. at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center after a series of campus stabbings that took place Monday morning. Information on the attack, the victims and moving forward from the incident were released by university officials and Columbus Division of Police. A second news conference is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Monday morning, the emergency dispatch center got a report that a vehicle had struck pedestrians, OSU Director of Public Safety Monica Moll said.
“At 9:53 a.m., an Ohio State officer called out on the radio that shots were fired. He engaged a suspect who had gotten out of the vehicle that struck pedestrians,” Moll said.
Moll said the first Buckeye Alert went out at 9:55 a.m. to alert the campus community that there was an emergency.
“By 11 a.m., the shelter-in-place notification was lifted and the law enforcement personnel in the area continue to investigate multiple other things,” she said.
University Police Chief Craig Stone said it was too early to say whether the attack was planned, but he believes the car running over the curb and stabbings were purposeful and done by one suspect.
“As far as we know there was one suspect,” Stone said. “There were rumors of a second suspect and we searched the Lane Avenue garage for another suspect. We believe it was one suspect.”
The names of the victims have not yet been released. Nine people were transferred to the Wexner Center, Grant Medical Center and Riverside Methodist Hospital for treatment. Eight are in stable condition and one critical. None of the injuries are life-threatening.
“Here at Ohio State, we received five wounded individuals from the scene, two with stab wounds and two with wounds related to being hit by the car,” Andrew Thomas, chief medical officer of the Wexner Medical Center said. “We just received a fifth victim who was hiding in place … Her injuries are still being assessed.”
Thomas said that the two victims transferred to Grant Medical Center has laceration wounds and they are now doing well with no life-threatening injuries. The other two victims taken to Riverside Methodist Hospital had motor vehicle-related injuries and are also recovering well.
“I want to give our thoughts and prayers and hopes and wishes for a speedy recovery to all those who were injured,” Ohio State University president Drake said. “I just want to tell them all and their families how much we are looking forward to their full and complete recovery.”
The Ohio State community:
Ohio State main campus classes have been cancelled for this afternoon. President Drake said that classes were cancelled to give police a chance to investigate the situation.
“It’s emotionally draining and it’s a good day to step back and take a break from classes,” President Drake said. “Get our footing.”
Columbus Mayor, Andy Ginther said his thoughts are with the Ohio State community and the victims of the stabbings.
“I want to send a clear message to the university and to the entire community: that the city of Columbus will devote whatever resources are necessary,” Ginther said. “We will work closely with President Drake and his team to make sure that everyone feels safe in this neighborhood and throughout our great city.”
Columbus Chief Kim Jacobs said that investigation is ongoing and will continue to be “mulled over.”
Jacobs said the Columbus police are working with many other agencies including the university.
“With the amount of people that were here on campus it was very chaotic and I’m very proud of the students and the faculty and the staff at OSU to do exactly what they needed to do and that was to get some place safe,” Jacobs said.
Another news conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will release more information on the findings of the investigation.
“We live in an unstable world unfortunately,” said Drake. “So we have to continue to do our best to protect ourselves against these circumstances.”