OSU president Michael Drake and members of the law enforcement and medical communities addressed the media moments ago regarding the incident that occurred this morning on the north side of campus.
Nine people were injured when a man ran into pedestrians with his car on West 19th Avenue near campus drive. The driver exited the vehicle with a butcher knife and started attacking victims.
Almost instantaneously, an OSU police officer arrived at the scene and ordered the suspect to surrender. When the driver did not comply, the officer shot and killed the driver. His identity was not immediately available. There is also no report on what may have been his motive. Police believe he may have been acting alone.
CBS news has reported that the suspect was a 20-year-old Somali man. The car was reportedly registered to Mohamed Ali.
The attack occurred outside of Watts Hall at West 19th, just west of College. Watts Hall had been evacuated previously because of a report of a gas leak. It’s unclear if that was related to the attack.
Nine people were transported to area hospitals. Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center treated five patients: two were stabbed, two were hit by the car and one who hid after the attack and just arrived. The last victim’s injuries were being assessed.
Two victims with lacerations were taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. Two victims who were struck by the car were taken to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.
The attack reportedly occurred at 9:52 a.m. An “active shooter” alert was sent to OSU students, staff and faculty moments later at 9:55 a.m.
Later in the morning, the university said the scene is secure and that all classes are canceled on campus. The shelter-in-place order was lifted at 11:14 a.m., but more than a dozen buildings remain closed.
Here were some of President Drake’s comments:
“The driver got out and used a weapon to cut several people, who were then transported to local hospitals,” Drake said. “I want to give our thoughts and hopes and prayers to all of those who were injured for a speedy recovery.
“We prepare for situations like this but always hope to never have one. We will be able to go and visit the people who were injured later this afternoon.
“I want to commend our OSU police and other police agencies who responded quickly to the situation. They kept something that was very unfortunate from being something that was much worse.”
OSU public safety director Monica Moll said within one minute of the report of the incident an OSU police officer had arrived on the scene.
“He engaged the suspect who had gotten out of the vehicle after hitting pedestrians,” Moll said. “The suspect had cut multiple individuals. The officer engaged the suspect and shot and killed the suspect.