Culture

Ohio State University Tells Students To Shelter In Place After Reports Of An Active Shooter

Several local and national news outlets are reporting an active shooter on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus. Initial reports came from the school’s official Emergency Management & Fire Prevention Twitter account, which relayed news of the alleged shooter to its followers just before 10 a.m. ET on Monday.

According to the first tweet, the active shooter situation was currently under way at Watts Hall, located at the intersection of 19th Avenue and College Road. Students on the scene were advised to “run,” “hide” or “fight”:

Subsequent tweets and Buckeye Alerts told students, faculty and staff to avoid the area around Watts and “shelter in place” until the situation was resolved by authorities on the scene:

CNN’s Deborah Feyerick reported soon after the initial alert that “there was a huge response now” and that “police were on the scene,” though details remains scant. As for the one alert’s use of the instructions run, hide and fight, Feyerick remarked it was “a warning to the students” regarding what to do if confronted by the alleged shooter, and was completely “normal” procedure.

According to NBC 4 Columbus, at least seven people were transported to the hospital following the active shooter report. Whether or not they were shot but the potential suspect, and the severity of their injuries, remains unknown at this time.

UPDATE #1: Staff members of the OSU student newspaper The Lantern reported from the area around Watts Hall and other parts of north campus, which police were cordoning off in a “perimeter.” They spotted “at least one body bag” on the scene:

Nearby, authorities closed in on the Lane Avenue garage, where a second potential gunman is reportedly being held up:


UPDATE #2: According to CNN, Columbus Fire spokesperson Rebecca Diehm said eight people — and not seven — were taken to nearby hospitals following the on-campus incident at OSU. She wouldn’t provide details about the victims and their individual conditions, though she did note that “one of those eight patients is in critical condition.”

Meanwhile, The Lantern reported a police officer on the scene near the Lane Avenue garage claimed “the remaining shooter is believed to be inside”:

UPDATE #3: Per NBC 4 Columbus, police on the scene at OSU have confirmed that at least one suspect is dead. Whether or not one or more suspects are at large, however, remains unknown.

The precise nature of the suspect’s death is also unknown. However, NBC 4 did add that a ninth victim — in addition to the eight who’ve been transferred to local hospitals — is currently being treated at the scene.

UPDATE #4: Following the reported death of a suspect, which was later confirmed by CNN, OSU officially lifted its shelter in place order and declared the active shooter scene “secure”:

All classes for the day have been cancelled, though the area around 19th Avenue and College Road remains closed while the investigation continues.

CNN’s source, an anonymous law enforcement official with close ties to the situation, also confirmed that the authorities currently believed that the suspect was acting alone, and that no additional potential shooters were being sought in the matter.

UPDATE #5: CNN’s Deborah Feyerick, who covered the OSU active shooter situation throughout Monday morning, later reported the suspect never even had a gun to begin with. Instead, according to her law enforcement sources, “the suspect used a knife in this attack”:

The gunshots heard by students and other witnesses on or near the scene “may have been those of a police officer who responded” to the original active shooter warning issued by the university’s emergency alert system.

UPDATE #6: CNN reports that the unnamed suspect in Monday’s attack was an 18-year-old man of Somali descent (named Abdul Razaq Ali Artan) and a permanent legal U.S. resident.

UPDATE #7: NBC News quotes a previous campus newspaper interview of Artan, who felt “scared to pray” as a Muslim on campus. Artan reportedly said, “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen.” The motive for the attack remains unknown, but OSU Police Chief Craig Stone told NBC, “This was done on purpose.”

UPDATE #8: CNN reports details from a Facebook account that apparently belongs to Artan. The page expresses grievances for how Muslims are treated by America: “Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.”

(CNN and NBC 4)

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