Home » Campus » Victim, a professor, holds out judgement on Ohio State attacker

Victim, a professor, holds out judgement on Ohio State attacker

 on Nov. 29. Credit: Dan Smyth | Lantern Reporter

William Clark, left, a professor who was hospitalized after an attack on Ohio State’s campus on Nov. 28, and Andrew Thomas address the media inside the Wasserstrom Auditorium at the James Cancer Hospital on Nov. 29. Credit: Dan Smyth | Lantern Reporter

William Clark, a professor who was a victim of an attack that sent him — as well as 10 others — to the hospital on Monday, spoke to the media Tuesday during a news conference at the James Cancer Hospital. He expressed restraint in judging his attacker.

“Before I pass judgment on this young man, I’d like to see what exactly the circumstances are and exactly why he took the course of action he chose,” Clark said. “At the end of the day, as I said earlier, I’m still going home this afternoon and he’s dead.”

Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a third-year in logistics management, used his car and a knife in order to attack victims before he was shot and killed by University Police officer Alan Horujko. Police have not yet released a motive for his attack.

Clark, professor emeritus of material science engineering, said he had no affiliation with Artan prior to yesterday’s attack. He said he believed Officer Horujko did the right thing given the circumstances.

Clark was careful not to jump to any conclusions about why Artan committed this attack.

“I’m a research professor, I like to make my guesses based on data,” Clark said.

Clark said he has canceled his class for Wednesday in order to give his students some time to recover from the trauma of the incident, but said that he may talk about the incident in class on Friday.

Currently, three victims still remain hospitalized, said Andrew Thomas, Chief Medical Officer for the Wexner Medical Center.

“At this point we are just thankful there are no life-threatening injuries and we expect all of the individuals to make a full recovery,” Thomas said.

Although not present at the briefing, another victim of the attack, Katie Schultz, left a statement to be read.

“My family and I appreciate everyone’s concern about my well being. Right now I am focused on my recovery and my family is providing me with the support and love that I need during this difficult time,” Schultz said in the statement.  “We’re thankful that I was not serious injured and we thank emergency responders for ending the situation as quickly as possible.”

There was one humorous moment near the end of the news briefing.

“We are still a great university, we still beat Michigan,” joked Clark.  


  1. Norman Wilcox, Jr.

    Professor Clark’s wisdom and restraint in judgement are admirable. The University is fortunate to have him as part of its community. Best wishes for quick healing to all.

    • The Professor is not wise. He strikes me as someone at war with reality.

    • Okay, Professor, let’s observe the data:

      Read the facebook rant of the young terrorist – https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/803417243547799552

      Then understand that the young man ran over a crowd of people with a car and took a knife to the crowd before being shot and killed by one of the good guys.

      Consider that the isis thugs have asked their psychotic followers to do the following to westerners – “Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car.”

      And, you Professor Clark? You need more data? Some scientist you are! You couldn’t find water in a lake.

      • A Supportive Friend

        Did you ever stop to think that he might not have seen the Facebook rant while an inpatient in the hospital recovering from trauma surgery? Just saying. It wasn’t as if he has a pipeline to all the information, so his restraint is commendable under those circumstances until all the facts are in. Walk in his shoes for a moment and think out of your close-minded box Mr. Reality and get a clue.

        • Dear Bird-brain of a Feather (aka supportive friend): The “restraint” statement was not useful. Driving a car into a group of people and then stabbing them with the intent to kill can only have one response: The choice of action is completely selfishly destructive to the point that the attacker must be put down before he carries out more of his intent, and if he happens to get so lucky that he survives his attack then he must be at the very least incarcerated for the rest of his life (or is rehabilitated as would happen in a Pollyannian world). And so, i do not think that either your or your friend have failed to stop and think, but simply deduce that your ability to apply reason is dangerously skewed.

        • Too bad he could not restrain himself from donning a white lab coat and sprint to a news conference to declare “I will not judge” someone who just stabbed me and other Americans at OSU before taking time to review the evidence that was being gathered.
          Why rush to make this statement before all the facts were in and then
          make jokes at the end of his statement?
          This act by the Professor is NOT COMMENDABLE.

          • Despite the Facebook rants and the claims by ISIS, I doubt if terrorism was at the root of this. The perpetrator lived in a very crowded (eight or nine family members?) two bedroom townhouse, apparently infested by mice and roaches, and very poor. He had just transferred from Community College and probably found Ohio State overwhelming financially and academically difficult. I don’t in any way condone what he did, but I suspect his stresses brought out the worst of him, and the ideological claims were a red herring.

          • “his stresses brought out the worst of him”

            Assuming what you say about the living conditions of the perp is true, does this suggest the other members of his family be monitored, lest living in the same “poor, crowded, pest-infested, stressed” environment brings out the “worst” in them as well?

            If one shouldn’t blame religion for the actions of a few, it’d follow that one shouldn’t also blame poverty for the same (e.g. not all Muslims are terrorists = not all poor people are terrorists). Right?

    • I also salute Dr. Clark’s restraint in judgment. Learning and understanding are why we are here.

  2. A lot of mixture in this tragic Fiasco! Similar to the election protest but different! Abdul is more than likely ESL. He may have been PSYCHOTIC, manic, Bipolar or Skitz or plain and simple road RAGE! MANY FALSE REPORTS IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS STORY! iT IS SAD PERMANANT PERSONAL INJURY AND DEATH RESULTED.


    • No. He was a Muslim terrorist. One did not need to have a “pipeline” to social media to get enough information to determine that. Maybe the professor is still withholding judgement on the Florida killings too. You know, just in case that terrorist had a good reason for what he did. Geesh!

  3. I will pass judgement on this attack.
    The fifty year American Progressive/Democratic Islamic Immigration initiative is an ABJECT FAILURE.

    Islam has made America
    less tolerant
    less safe
    less free.

  4. Dr. Clark seems to me spot-on in his assessment of the perp. Something appears to have radicalized him, but we don’t know quite what or how. Why is this important? Because knowing the different ways violent radicalization works may allow us to develop more preventive methods.

    Preventing terrorism may afford us the best “bang for the buck” we can get, as it does in self-protection from criminal assault. The OSU Lantern story on this violent young man at the beginning of the semester shows us that he is not just a cardboard cutout or strange “other” who we can easily dismiss. There is the possibility of mental illness, compounded by various social stresses. Or maybe he was really good at hiding his long-term radicalization. Again, we don’t know yet. But Daesh (ISIS) does know that there are unstable people in the world who can be affected over the internet. This appears to be one, whose story may never be known in its entirety.

    Dr. Clark’s comments remind me of the late Dr. Peter Rossi, who with Dr. Jim Wright authored the first really good work on guns and violence back in the eighties. “Always refer to the data!”

    So much hate on these internet boards!! Hatred by nameless, faceless folks who don’t realize the extent of complexity and ambiguity in the world, and the proper, very limited, role for hate.

    Properly focused, hate may help you survive a violent assault. After the assault, hate needs to be dealt with appropriately and then put away. It’s corrosive and it has no place in a good analysis of events. We now need to see if this incident might have been prevented by some other means than jacketed hollow points.

    We were very lucky that Officer Horujko was right there and immediately “performed the indicated response.”

    Good shooting, Officer Horujko! Sometimes, violence has to be used to solve problems that we may have neglected earlier. Everyone, of every ethnicity, deserves to be treated with kindness, in word and in deed.

    The older I get and the more I train (with or without weapons), the more I realize that the softer, less exciting ways to prevent violence are key to handling it. By the time violence sprouts and it “goes to guns,” one has probably made several errors and/or missed some chances at mitigation. Is this case one of them? I’m not talking about the officer; I’m talking about our community. Again, we don’t know yet, and there’s a good chance we will never know for sure. But we need to try.

    Karl Spaulding
    OSU Pariah Laureate

    • Prevention?

      Perhaps, as per President-elect Trump and others have suggested, the best method of prevention would be an immediate cassation of immigration from countries that have tendencies towards terror.

    • Mr Spalding ,
      You state that everyone of every ethnicity deserves to be treated with kindness in word and deed.

      Please go to sharia compliant countries in the Mideast, Somali, Pakistan, etc.
      Share your philosophy with them.
      They really need to hear your message.

    • What you describe as hate Mr. Spaulding,
      is really the truth.
      Telling it like it is and
      not how we would wish it to be.

  5. I think the word you meant to use is “withholds” rather than “holds out.” Read the headline again with both options.

  6. Not an English major

    Remember to run spell check on all headlines.

  7. When I heard this news flash on Monday morning, my first thought wasn’t terrorism. It was “where is Jim Harbaugh?”

  8. Mortimer, now is not the time for humor or satire.

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