Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the armed attacker who on Monday (28 November) injured 11 people at Ohio State University before being shot dead by police, was a student at the university, and was of Somali descent it has emerged. Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said the authorities are probing whether the attack had possible terrorism links.
The FBI and other agencies have joined the investigation. The 18-year-old was shot dead by a police officer after he drove a car into pedestrians and began stabbing people with a butcher's knife.
Officer Alan Horujko, 28, who killed Artan, is a university police officer who had joined the force less than two years ago, said Department of Public Safety Director Monica Moll.
Officer Horujko had gone to investigate a gas leak nearby, and was able to respond quickly to the attack, said Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone.
Eleven people were injured, including one who remains in a critical condition, according to AP. Among the wounded were an Ohio State faculty member, four graduate students and three undergraduates. Most of the injured were hurt by the car, at least two were stabbed, and one had a fractured skull, officials said.
Authorities were able to get pictures of the suspect's car driving onto the university campus and confirmed there was only one person in the vehicle.
Artan was born in Somalia and lived in the US as a legal permanent resident, a US official told AP. Last year, Artan spoke to student newspaper Humans of Ohio State. "I'm a Muslim, it's not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don't know what they're going to think, what's going to happen, but I don't blame them," he said.
"It's the media that put that picture in their heads so they're just going to have it and ... it's going to make them feel uncomfortable," he continued.
Angshuman Kapil, a graduate student, was outside the building when the car crossed onto the pavement.
"It just hit everybody who was in front," he said. "After that everybody was shouting, 'Run! Run! Run!'"
Student Martin Schneider said: "I thought it was an accident initially until I saw the guy come out with a knife."
Rachel LeMaster, who works in the engineering college, said a fire alarm was set off 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 other students were taken outside the building where she saw a body lying on the ground.