An Ohio State student drove a speeding car into a crowd outside a classroom building Monday morning, then got out and slashed at people with a large knife, sending 11 people to the hospital in what authorities said was a planned assault.

University public safety officials identified the student as Abdul Razak Ali Artan. Officials said they had no information on a possible motive and said that campus video cameras showed Artan was alone in the car.

Police quickly responded to the chaotic scene Monday, and within a minute, a university police officer shot and killed the suspect. But it was hours before people understood the details of what had happened on the flagship state campus, as terrified witnesses described a crash, gunfire, stabbings and screaming students sprinting to find a hiding place.

It was yet another sign that universities, once thought of as peaceful havens, are vulnerable to sudden, violent attacks.

Police said they believe Artan is 20 years old, and in an interview with the Lantern student newspaper in August he said that he was a junior in logistics management. He said that he had transferred from Columbus State Community College, where he is listed as having graduated cum laude with an associate of arts degree.

In the interview with the Lantern, Artan described his Muslim prayers and said that Ohio State was so big that he didn’t even know where to pray.

“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going in the media,” he said. “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. … 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.”

Craig Stone, chief of the Ohio State University police said Monday afternoon that it wasn’t clear what motivated the attack but he said it was clear that “this was done on purpose” and that authorities couldn’t rule out the possibility of terrorism. The Islamic State and al-Qaeda have encouraged followers to carry out knife attacks, and the Islamic State also has urged its supporters to use cars as weapons. In July, a man the militant group called a “soldier” killed dozens with a truck attack in France.

Authorities said Monday afternoon that 11 people went to area hospitals Monday, one in critical condition.

Angshuman Kapil, a 25-year-old student, was waiting outside Ohio State’s Watts Hall with 50 or 60 other people who had left the building because of a fire alarm. “A car suddenly appeared driving at a high speed,” he said. It hit three or four people and one victim was flipped over the car. The car also struck a concrete barrier. He and others ran inside the building. “My body was shaking,” he said.

Police said Artan drove a car over a curb shortly before 10 a.m. hitting the group of pedestrians before swinging a knife at people nearby. Police then shot him.

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

Michael V. Drake, the university’s president, said during a news briefing Monday afternoon that the university prepares for “situations like this but always hope never to have one.” He said he was grateful it was neutralized rapidly. “This is obviously a tragic situation.”

Classes were canceled for the rest of the day Monday but school will be open Tuesday. “It’s emotionally draining and quite frightening,” Drake said. “This is a good day to step back from classes, get our footing and open again tomorrow.”


  1. Here we go just typical to blame this on Trump, some Muslims have been doing this kind of thing for some time now way before Trump come on the scene.. But this is what Trump is talking about to try and sort out who is in the country doing such things even if it means locking down on certain entries into the USA until they figure out what is what…

  2. Hello u 10:58pm, i know u were coming for me. Trump a u dad? Hate is more alive n kicking n its coming str888 frm ur dad TRUMP. Met plz block trump kids for me i beg oooo. Him run him campaign pon HATE n u wan beat ppl when them talk.

  3. Lol hi 11:44, no hard feelings, just setting the record str888 as the truth must prevail against the lies and misinformation… Just remember is not everything we hear on the news is true… Just remember that!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top