OSU community reacts to attacker

Columbus police responded to an attack on Ohio State University’s main campus on Monday, Nov. 28 near 19th and College Avenue and Watts Hall.  

Cameron Gorman

Reports of a violent incident on the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University surfaced quickly throughout social media on Monday.

As the situation unfolded, multiple news sources incorrectly reported that the incident was a shooting — it was later found that the assailant, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a first-year business student at OSU, had used a butcher’s knife and his car to run over pedestrians.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that an alert was issued to the university community of an active shooter on campus at around 10 a.m.

“I heard about it through a friend (who) texted me about it, and then OSU’s texting service texted me about the same time,” said Tom Krajnak, a senior aerospace engineering major at OSU.

Those who received the alert saw an order to “Run, Hide, or Fight,” as it became clear that people were being hurt on 19th and College Avenue near Watts Hall — the Materials Science and Engineering building.

“At first it was really confusing because no one really knew what was going on,” Krajnak said. “They said there was a situation, and then five … 10 minutes later it was saying it was an active shooter, so that was terrifying. It was just … a lot of chaos.” 

Taylor Mitoke, a sophomore strategic communications major at OSU, said she was walking to class while directly across from the scene near Watts Hall and saw a large crowd of people standing outside of the building.

“I saw the fire trucks and figured it was for a fire drill, so (I) continued walking,” Miotke said. “Then I heard tire screeches and looked to see a car turning down the street. The traffic cop waved his arms for him to stop, but the car floored it and the guy went about 5 or 6 feet in the air.”

Mitoke then recalled that the car had sped up into the crowd of people, resulting in bystanders being hit by the car.

“I originally thought it was an accident, maybe the guy hit the gas instead of the breaks and lost control,” Mitoke said. “Then people in the crowd started to sprint away from the car and something didn’t feel right, so I knew it was time to run. Right after I started running I heard the gunshots and sped up.”

The Dispatch reported 11 injured victims were transported to Columbus area hospitals, and the suspect had been shot and killed by OSU police officer Alan Horujko. Horujko, 28, has been with the department since 2015.

The Dispatch also reported that the suspect was believed to live on the west side of Columbus.

Police and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad are currently searching an apartment, according to The Dispatch.

Kayla Stephenson, a graduate student at OSU who was at the medical division of campus on lockdown, said via Twitter that she had no idea the shooter was on the loose.

“It took most of the local news stations like a solid half hour to pick up the story, so we had a live stream going for about two hours on our class projector,” Stephenson said. “The news wasn’t giving us any information beyond that the police had shot and killed a suspect and were scouring the nearby parking garage and building.” 

Stephenson said she thought the university and local news outlets didn’t do a good job of communicating to students that there was a shooting taking place.

“(I’m just) praying fervently for the nine victims currently being hospitalized,” she said.

Kerestina Khalil, a freshman at OSU, said she felt angry, seeing things like this happening too often.

“Unfortunately there’s not really anything we can do to stop it, and I can only imagine how the victims’ families are feeling, especially coming back from Thanksgiving break,” Khalil said. “It’s supposed to be a joyous day, and it’s just a day full of sorrow.”

The campus re-opened for students to receive personal items, according to the OSU Emergency Management. The area around 19th Avenue remains closed, with classes canceled for the day and set to resume on Tuesday.

Cameron Gorman is a diversity reporter, contact her at [email protected].