Po­lice seek mo­tive be­hind cam­pus at­tack

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By An­drew WelshHug­gins and Julie Carr Smyth As­so­ci­ated Press writer Eric Tucker in Wash­ing­ton, Collin Bink­ley in Bos­ton and Mark Gillispie in Cleve­land con­trib­uted to this story.

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether ter­ror­ism was be­hind the at­tack at Ohio State Univer­sity that left 11 peo­ple hurt.

A So­mali-born col­lege stu­dent plowed his car into a group of pedes­tri­ans at Ohio State Univer­sity and be­gan stab­bing peo­ple with a butcher knife Mon­day be­fore he was shot to death by a po­lice of­fi­cer. Po­lice said they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether it was a ter­ror­ist at­tack.

Eleven peo­ple were hurt, one crit­i­cally.

The at­tacker was iden­ti­fied as Ohio State stu­dent Ab­dul Razak Ali Ar­tan. He was born in So­ma­lia and was a le­gal per­ma­nent res­i­dent of the U.S., ac­cord­ing to a U.S. of­fi­cial who wasn’t au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the case and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The FBI joined the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The de­tails emerged af­ter a morn­ing of con­fu­sion and con­flict­ing re­ports that be­gan with the univer­sity is­su­ing a series of tweets warning that there was an “ac­tive shooter” on cam­pus near the en­gi­neer­ing build­ing and that stu­dents should “run, hide, fight.” The warning was ap­par­ently prompted by what turned out to be po­lice gun­fire.

Nu­mer­ous po­lice ve­hi­cles and ambulances con­verged on the 60,000-stu­dent cam­pus, and au­thor­i­ties blocked off roads. Stu­dents bar­ri­caded them­selves in­side of­fices and class­rooms, pil­ing chairs and desks in front of doors.

Ohio State Po­lice Chief Craig Stone said that the as­sailant de­lib­er­ately drove over a curb out­side a class­room build­ing and then got out and be­gan at­tack­ing peo­ple with the knife. A cam­pus of­fi­cer who hap­pened to be nearby be­cause of a gas leak ar­rived on the scene and shot the driver in less than a minute, Stone said.

Ang­shu­man Kapil, a grad­u­ate stu­dent, was out­side the build­ing when the car bar­reled onto the side­walk.

“It just hit ev­ery­body who was in front,” he said. “Af­ter that ev­ery­body was shout­ing, ‘Run! Run! Run!’”

Stu­dent Martin Sch­nei­der said he heard the car’s en­gine revving.

“I thought it was an ac­ci­dent ini­tially un­til I saw the guy come out with a knife,” Sch­nei­der said, adding that the man didn’t say any­thing when he got out.

Most of the in­jured were hurt by the car, and at least two were stabbed, of­fi­cials said. One had a frac­tured skull.

Asked at a news con­fer­ence whether au­thor­i­ties were con­sid­er­ing the pos­si­bil­ity it was a ter­ror­ist act, Colum­bus Po­lice Chief Kim Ja­cobs said: “I think we have to con­sider that it is.”

Sur­veil­lance pho­tos showed Ar­tan in the car by him­self just be­fore the at­tack, but in­ves­ti­ga­tors were look­ing into whether any­one else was in­volved, the cam­pus po­lice chief said.

In re­cent months, fed­eral law en­force­ment of­fi­cials have raised con­cerns about on­line ex­trem­ist pro­pa­ganda that en­cour­ages knife and car at­tacks, which are eas­ier to pull off than bomb­ings.

The Is­lamic State group has urged sym­pa­thiz­ers on­line to carry out at­tacks in their home coun­tries with what­ever weapons are avail­able to them.

In Septem­ber, a 20-yearold So­mali-Amer­i­can stabbed 10 peo­ple at a St. Cloud, Min­nesota, shop­ping mall be­fore be­ing shot to death by an off-duty of­fi­cer. Au­thor­i­ties said he asked some of his vic­tims if they were Mus­lim. In the past few years, Lon­don and other cities abroad have also seen knife at­tacks blamed on ex­trem­ists.

The shel­ter-in-place warning at Ohio State was lifted and the cam­pus de­clared se­cure af­ter about an hour and a half, af­ter po­lice con­cluded there was no sec­ond at­tacker, as ru­mored.

The at­tack came as stu­dents were re­turn­ing to classes fol­low­ing the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day break and Ohio State’s foot­ball vic­tory over ri­val Michi­gan that brought more than 100,000 fans to cam­pus on Satur­day.

Rachel LeMaster, who works in the en­gi­neer­ing col­lege, said a fire alarm sounded on cam­pus.

“There were sev­eral mo­ments of chaos,” she said. “We bar­ri­caded our­selves like we’re sup­posed to since it was right out­side our door and just hun­kered down.”

LeMaster said she and oth­ers were even­tu­ally led out­side the build­ing and she saw a body on the ground.

Classes were can­celed for the rest of the day.

The of­fi­cer who gunned the at­tacker down was iden­ti­fied as 28-year-old Alan Horu­jko, a nearly twoyear mem­ber of the force.

The ini­tial tweet from the univer­sity’s emer­gency man­age­ment de­part­ment went out around 10 a.m. and said: “Buck­eye Alert: Ac­tive Shooter on cam­pus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and Col­lege.”

Ohio State Pres­i­dent Michael Drake said the ac­tiveshooter warning was is­sued af­ter shots were heard on cam­pus.

“Run, hide, fight” is stan­dard pro­to­col for ac­tive shooter sit­u­a­tions. It means: Run, evac­u­ate if pos­si­ble; hide, get silently out of view; or fight, as a last re­sort, take ac­tion to dis­rupt or in­ca­pac­i­tate the shooter if your life is in im­mi­nent dan­ger.

JOHN MINCHILLO — AP PHOTO

Stu­dents leave build­ings sur­round­ing Watts Hall as po­lice re­spond to re­ports of an at­tack on cam­pus at Ohio State Univer­sity Mon­day in Colum­bus, Ohio.

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