Ohio State University attacker identified as student - Metro US

Ohio State University attacker identified as student

A car which police say was used by an attacker to plow into a group of students is seen outside Watts Hall on Ohio State University's campus in Columbus, Ohio, U.S. November 28, 2016. Courtesy of Mason Swires/thelantern.com/Handout via REUTERS

Authorities identified the man who drove his car into pedestrians and stabbed several people before being fatally shot on an Ohio college campus.

Ohio State University public safety officials identified the attacker as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, Somali refugee and student at the school.

Minutes before the attack, authorities said Artan posted a “declaration” to Facebook.

“I can’t take it anymore,” he wrote, ABC reported. “America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.”

The vice president of marketing and communications at Columbus State told ABC in a statement: “Abdul Razak Ali Artan was enrolled at Columbus State Community College from autumn semester 2014 through summer semester 2016. He graduated with an associate of arts degree in spring of 2016 and then continued taking additional noncredit classes through summer semester 2016.”

The suspect, driving an SUV, jumped the curb just before 10 a.m. and hit people in front of Watts Hall, authorities said. He then left the vehicle and allegedly stabbed others with a butcher knife.

“The only thing that you can say based upon common knowledge is that this was done on purpose,” Ohio State University police chief Craig Stone said. “To go over the curb and strike pedestrians and then to get out and start striking them with a knife, that was on purpose.”

Two other suspects were reportedly arrested, butaccording to the Washington Post, a video confirmed that Artan was alone in the car.

Nine people were hospitalized, Columbus Fire Department told local station 10TV. Eight are stable, and one is in critical condition. The Washington Post reported a dozen people were hospitalized.

“I’m new here. This is my first day. This place is huge, and I don’t even know where to pray,” Artan told the student newspaper, The Lantern, in August. “I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. 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,” Artan continued. “It’s the media that puts that picture in their heads so they’re going to have it and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed.”

All classes were canceled for Monday, but the school will be open on Tuesday.

The university’s Department of Public Safety posted a tweet earlier Monday morning, warning students to “run hide fight” from an active shooter on its Columbus campus.Other tweets warned students to stay in sheltered places and avoid the area of the school.

“Then I heard someone yell, ‘He’s got a knife.’ And I saw a guy with a big-ass knife just chasing people around. When I saw that, I grabbed all my stuff and started running,” OSU sophomore Jacob Bowers told NBC.

The lockdown ended before noon, about 90 minutes after campus officer Alan Harujko shot and killed the suspect.

“Commands were not followed, and the officer did what he had to do to stop the threat,” Stone said.

Harujko was on the scene after responding to a call about a gas leak and evacuating the building, Columbus Dispatch reported.

Hassan Omar, president of the Somali Community Association of Ohio, said members of the Somali community are calling him and crying.

“This is a shock,” Omar told NBC. “As a Somali community here, we are in a state of shock. In Columbus, we live in a very peaceful community. This is gonna affect the life of everybody. We are American and we don’t want somebody to create this problem.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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